Italian neo-fascist Franco Freda has published and promoted books by Nazis, written that “[we] only have accounts to settle with the Jewish or Judaized Europe,” was convicted of trying to resurrect Benito Mussolini’s fascist party, was judged to be partly responsible for a 1969 far-right terrorist attack, and last year said that Russian president Vladimir Putin “is a champion of the white race.” This, apparently, is all okay with Ukraine’s Azov movement and Plomin, its literature club and publishing outfit. Plomin currently sells a Ukrainian translation of Freda’s 1969 book “The Disintegration of the System,” which lays out a “battle plan” for overthrowing the state that one scholar wrote “[advocates] direct action and has no conscience.” On December 17, two members of the Azov movement presented this translation at the National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy (NaUKMA), arguably Ukraine’s most prestigious university. However, the presentation was not sanctioned by the university and apparently managed to take place there only due to “a group of young aggressive people” who, despite staff trying to resist, invaded and, in the far-right’s own words, “occupied” a university venue to host an unsanctioned event. Freda and his supporters insist that he occupies some sort of ethereal space between left and right, yet the man, now 78, has long been firmly associated with the most violent fringes of Italy’s far-right. Freda has spent multiple years in prison for his activities, including for his role in a series of bomb attacks in April 1969. After an initial acquittal in 1987 on charges of being partly responsible for a 1969 terrorist attack — the Piazza Fontana bombing in Milan that killed 17 people and wounded 88 — subsequent investigations led an Italian court to ultimately rule in 2004 that he was partly responsible for the crime. However, having been acquitted, Freda could not, under law, be charged again for the same offense. Yet he and other far-right figures were charged in 2000 and found guilty of trying to reconstruct Italy’s Mussolini-era fascist party, which is a crime in Italy, via their now-disbanded “Fronte Nazionale” party. It’s this long past that led researcher of the far-right Anton Shekhovtsov to refer to Freda as “one of the most notorious Italian fascist terrorists.” Freda has also run a far-right publishing house since the 1960s, publishing and promoting work by Nazi-era figures and sympathizers including Joseph Goebbels, Romanian fascist Corneliu Codreanu (a man one historian once described as an “obsessive anti-Semite”), Nazi ideologist Alfred Rosenberg, Hungarian fascist Ferenc Szalasi, and, as of December 2019, seven separate works by Adolf Hitler himself. Published in 1969, Franco Freda’s pamphlet, “The Disintegration of the System” (it is hardly long enough to be called a book), is not difficult to find online in English translation. The work, dense and polemical, proposes that an alliance be formed between far-left and far-right to overthrow the “bourgeois” state by any means necessary. It led to Freda being paradoxically called a “Nazi Maoist” after its publication.

via bellngcat: Ukraine’s Far Right Is Boosting A Pro-Putin Fascist