The Islamic State is in fact the next incarnation of “das ewige Reich” (the eternal Reich) – a concept once popularized by Hitler’s infamous Minister of Propaganda Joseph Goebbels – a former Russian YPG volunteer narrates.
Sputnik – Opinion
In an interview with Russian media outlet Furfur, a Russian national who called himself Evgeny explained why he decided to change his life and join the Kurdish People’s Defense Unit (Yekineyen Parastina Gel, or YPG) in order to fight ISIL.
Although the YPG was initially a Kurdish militant group, it has also recruited Arabs and Westerners who joined the Kurdish resistance in order to contain the terrorist threat posed by the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq.
Evgeny became the first Russian volunteer to engage in a battle against ISIL together with YPG.
Beheadings committed by the Islamic State are only a “part of the show,” Evgeny elaborated, adding that ISIL is making efforts to “win the hearts and minds” of ordinary Arabs by establishing a kind of “state” with social institutions and a specific judicial system.
“The Islamic State is executing not only ‘infidels’ but also criminals. In fact, ISIL does not differ much from civilized European states and other countries,” Evgeny noted.
To illustrate such a paradoxical and controversial statement, Evgeny provided an example of the Yugoslav Wars of the 1990s, pointing to the fact that the internal strife between Albanians, Serbs and Croats resulted in massacres comparable to those which we observe now in the Middle East.
“In Saudi Arabia the authorities are chopping off heads, hands and legs [just like in the Islamic State],” he noted, adding that Mexican narco-trafficking organizations torture and execute their victims in a far more brutal way than jihadists.
“ISIL is partly a Western phenomenon. I am not hinting at some conspiracy theories: there are many European and American nationals in ISIL. ISIL poses a threat not only as a group of ruthless thugs: they are dangerous as a social and political phenomenon. Mass media portray the Islamic State as a mob comprised of homicidal maniacs. However, it is in fact the next incarnation of “das ewige Reich” [the eternal Reich]. Some politicians understand what is actually going on. That is why Russia has sent its Air Force to Syria,” Evgeny underscored.
Evgeny said that he never came across any Russian volunteers while he fought together with the YPG. However, some of the Kurdish militants were educated in Russia.
There were many Kurdish Communists and even some Turkish “Stalinists” among the YPG fighters, Evgeny noted, adding that he was bombarded with questions why he was not a Bolshevik and why Russia is not helping Syrians and Kurds to build a socialist society.
“I told them that Russia has become a capitalist state,” Evgeny said, adding that “the news came as a surprise to many of them.”
Interestingly enough, there were many women fighting together with Kurdish militants, some of them were high ranking officers and commanders.
“I don’t like war, but sometimes you have no choice,” Evgeny remarked, “If you want peace, prepare for war.”
“I met up with many good people: Kurds, volunteers from all over the world. On the other hand, I saw many people dying. People often fall victim to grand politics. They die because the majority hesitate to demonstrate compassion and solidarity, because there are just a few who are ready to give up their comfort zones,” the former YPG volunteer concluded.