by Alex Rubinstein
US corporate media has provided glowing coverage to Paul Gray, a notorious American white nationalist fighting in Ukraine. A DHS document warns he’s not the only US fascist drawn to Kiev.
As the United States undergoes a national mourning process over a spate of mass shootings, American white nationalists with documented histories of violence are attaining combat experience with advanced US-made weapons in a foreign proxy war.
That’s according to the Department of Homeland Security, which has been gathering intelligence on Americans who have joined the ranks of the more than 20,000 foreign volunteers in Ukraine.
The FBI has indicted several American white nationalists associated with the Rise Above Movement after they trained with the neo-Nazi Azov Battaliion and its civilian wing, the National Corps, in Kiev. But that was almost four years ago. Today, federal law enforcement has no idea how many US neo-Nazis are participating in the war in Ukraine, or what they are doing there.
But one thing is for certain: the Biden administration is allowing the Ukrainian government to recruit Americans – including violent extremists – at its embassy in Washington DC and at consulates across the country. As this report will show, at least one notorious extremist fighting in Ukraine has received extensive promotion from mainstream media, while another who is currently wanted for violent crimes committed in the US was mysteriously able to evade FBI investigators looking into war crimes he previously committed in Eastern Ukraine.
According to a Customs and Border Patrol document released thanks to a May 2022 Freedom of Information Act request by a nonprofit called Property of the People, federal authorities are concerned about RMVE-WS’s, or “racially-motivated violent extremists – white supremacy” returning to the US armed with new tactics learned on the Ukrainian battlefield.
“Ukrainian nationalist groups including the Azov Movement are actively recruiting racially or ethnically motivated violent extremist white supremacists to join various neo-Nazi volunteer battalions in the war against Russia,” the document states. “RMVE-WS individuals in the United States and Europe announced intentions to join the conflict and are organizing entry to Ukraine via the Polish border.”
The document, which was drafted by Customs and Border Protections, the Office of Intelligence, and other Homeland Security sub-agencies, contains write-ups of interviews conducted by law enforcement with Americans en route to Ukraine to fight Russia.
One such volunteer interviewed in early March “admitted to contacting the Georgian National Legion but decided against joining the group as they were accused of war crimes,” according to the document. Instead, the volunteer “ hoped to obtain a work contract with the Azov Battalion.”
That interview was conducted nearly a month before additional war crimes committed by the Georgian Legion were reported by The Grayzone. However, the volunteer’s allegation may also refer to the illegal execution of two men who had attempted to break through a Ukrainian checkpoint, or an additional, unreported crime known to insiders within volunteer networks.
One key “intelligence gap” listed in the document speaks to the US government’s complete lack of oversight in the proxy war it is sponsoring in Ukraine. NATO arming campaign which has offered no assurances that Western weapons won’t fall into the hands of Nazis. “What kind of training are foreign fighters receiving in Ukraine that they could possibly proliferate in US based militia and white nationalist groups?” the document asks.
Property of the People shared the document with Politico, which sought to downplay and even discredit its explosive contents by inserting the caveat that “critics say” the Department of Homeland Security document “echoes one of the Kremlin’s top propaganda points.”
But as this report will illustrate, the presence of hardcore American neo-Nazis in the ranks of the Ukrainian military is far from a deception cranked out by the Kremlin’s propaganda mills.
From fascist street brawler to volunteer fighter in US-backed unit
Among the most prominent American white nationalists currently serving in the ranks of the Ukrainian military is Paul Gray. The US military veteran has spent almost two months fighting among the Georgian National Legion, a Ukrainian military outfit that has been celebrated by US lawmakers and has committed multiple war crimes.
Besides having served in the US Army, Gray is a veteran of various street brawls against leftist groups in the US. This April, he was shuffled to a hospital in “an undisclosed location” in Ukraine for wounds sustained in combat. This time, his adversaries were not masked members of Antifa; they were soldiers in the Russian military.
To be sure, Paul Gray is not just some angry suburban dad glibly labeled a fascist by the liberal media because he delivered an off-color rant at a parent-teacher conference. He is the real deal: a former member of several bonafide fascist groups including the now-defunct Traditionalist Workers Party, American Vanguard, Atomwaffen Division, and Patriot Front.
Gray is also a former soldier of the 101st Airborne Division with a Purple Heart and multiple deployments to Iraq who was eager to impart battlefield lessons and training to Ukrainians engaged in a US-backed proxy war with Russia. This January while in Ukraine, he joined the Georgian National Legion, an outfit led by a notorious warlord who has enjoyed friendly visits with high profile members of US Congress while boasting of authorizing gruesome war crimes in Ukraine.
In fact, Gray is among at least 30 Americans currently fighting with the Georgian National Legion. The unit is therefore at the heart of the ratline channeling US weapons and fascist foreign militants into the Ukrainian military, while Congress and American corporate media cheer it on.
Indeed, Fox News has featured Gray no less than six times, painting him as a heroic GI Joe sacrificing himself to defend democracy. Fox did not inform its viewers of Gray’s identity until his most recent appearance, obscuring his record of neo-Nazism from its viewers.
For Texans who bore witness to the street rampages of local fascist organizations throughout the past five years, Gray was a familiar face.
Back in 2018, Gray was slapped with a citation by local police for trespassing on the campus of Texas State University at San Marcos. He was distributing fliers at the time for Patriot Front, a fascist organization led by Thomas Rousseau. While Gray, along with two others, were identified by the university, the names of five others were withheld, leading “the community” to accuse “the university of protecting white supremacists.”
Rousseau had been rising through the ranks of Vanguard America, a growing organization at the forefront of white nationalism. But the group swiftly collapsed after one of its members, 19-year-old James Alex Fields, plowed his car through dozens of people protesting the now-notorious “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville in 2017 after he had been photographed equipped with a shield featuring the organization’s emblem. The attack, which was witnessed by this reporter, left a protester dead, and resulted in Fields being locked away for life. Vanguard America’s founder, Rousseau, subsequently bolted from the group and formed Patriot Front.
According to self-described “anti-fascist” journalist Kit O’Connell, Gray joined forces with Patriot Front to provide combat training to fellow veterans. He also helped the group disrupt the Houston Anarchist Bookfair in 2017.
Gray has also been associated with the Traditionalist Workers Party, a lead organizer of the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, as well as with Atomwaffen Division, a neo-Nazi organization whose members have trained with Ukraine’s Azov Battalion, and which was designated as an illegal terrorist organization by the United Kingdom and Canada.
In leaked chat logs, Atomwaffen celebrated the bloody exploits of a member who murdered a gay Jewish college student in December 2017. Another member slaughtered the parents of their own girlfriend. Yet another member of Atomwaffen, Devon Arthurs, murdered his neo-Nazi roommates that same year after they mocked him for converting to Islam.
One of Arthurs’ victims, Andrew Oneschuk, had appeared on the Azov Battallion’s official podcast a year before his killing. The host encouraged the teenager and other Americans to come to Ukraine to join Azov – something Oneschuk had previously tried and failed to do in 2015.
Details of Paul Gray’s involvement with Atomwaffen and the Traditionalist Workers Party were left unexplained by journalists Kit O’Connell and Michael Hayden. However, this reporter was able to corroborate Gray’s collaboration with the neo-Nazi Vangaurd America organization, as well as Patriot Front.
In 2017, Gray helped organize a rally featuring Vanguard America and Mike “Enoch” Peinovich, a prominent white supremacist blogger. The event was billed as “a movement of like-minded whites are banding together to fight off the diseased hordes of anti-white, anti-fascist, communist scum parasitizing and subverting the good denizens of Bat City.” The Daily Stormer, a popular neo-Nazi blog, hailed the fascist confab as a gathering of “proud white men got up and talked about Jews and their hordes without any reservation whatsoever.”
Prior to the fascist jamboree, Gray successfully convinced Texas State Representative Matt Schaefer to sponsor the rally, promising him the event was simply aimed at supporting “conservative leaders and the policies they are seeking.” Schaefer later apologized for accepting Gray’s request, claiming he was “lied to.”
Gray ultimately grew so prominent in the Texas neo-Nazi scene that he became a target of local “antifa” groups, who doxxed him and distributed photographs of him at fascist rallies. They also revealed that on Facebook he had “liked” a number of neo-Nazi pages, includinig Liftwaffe, a “Nazi-themed weight-lifting group” named after Nazi Germany’s Air Force.
In one of the photos, Gray can be seen in 2017 sporting a t-shirt emblazoned with the logo of the neo-Nazi podcast Exodus Americanus. Later that year, Gray’s sister opened a cafe in East Austin that became a target of anti-gentrification protests.
Gray rallied three of his friends, all fellow army veterans, to confront the protesters. When he later appeared on the Exodus Americanus podcast, his hosts introduced him as “our buddy down in Texas,” and “one of our dudes,” and described the protesters as “brown hordes” and “the local beaner squad.”
“Do you recall,” one of the hosts asked Gray, “when [co-host] Roscoe and I got really drunk and slept on your couch?”
During the interview, Gray recounted how he and his friends “fought off” the protesters. One of the hosts closed the interview by reciting the slogan, “white power!”
Fox & Nazi friends
At some point in early 2021, Gray found his way to Kiev, Ukraine and opened a gym, which helped him insinuate himself into the mixed martial arts culture popular among local ultra-nationalists.