Azov Battalion Commander Tells US Newspaper ‘Majority of Ukrainians Today Are Nationalists’

© Sputnik / Alexandr Maksimenko / Go to the mediabankStudents of the Azov battalion are dispatched to the conflict zone in southeastern Ukraine
Students of the Azov battalion are dispatched to the conflict zone in southeastern Ukraine - Sputnik International, 1920, 30.03.2022
The Azov commander, who is the former leader of the Kharkov branch of the Stepan Bandera All-Ukrainian Organization “Tryzub” and co-founder of the ultra-nationalist movement, the Social-National Assembly, confirmed on Tuesday what Russia has been raising the alarm about for a long time.
Commander of the neo-Nazi Azov Battalion Andriy Biletsky told the Financial Times in a recent interview that many in the regiment are nationalists, and so are the majority of Ukrainians, according to him.
In an article brazenly titled, “Don’t confuse patriotism and Nazism”, FT appears to be whitewashing the Nazi battalion, citing a Vienna-based Ukrainian expert who claims today's Azov is not the same it was before. But, ironically, its commander's words state otherwise.

According to Biletsky, most Azov members are “patriotic, many of them are nationalists. But the majority of Ukrainians today are nationalists.” He then reportedly cited Stepan Bandera, the infamous Nazi collaborator during WWII who is responsible for the ethnic cleansing of thousands of Ukrainians, Jews and Poles. In 2020, the CIA published docs in which a socialist publication described Bandera as the Ukrainian fascist and Hitler’s professional spy.”

Judging by his claim, it is the Azov leader who confuses patriotism with Nazism, and blindly believes being a nationalist is the same thing as being patriotic.
Biletsky said that the Azov, founded by white supremacists, was the spine of Mariupol’s defences,” adding that there were about 1,500 nationalists in the city and thousands more in total within the National Guard of Ukraine (NGU), including more than 1,000 in Kharkov.
He added that there are also foreign nationals who are also fighting in the regiment.
A serviceman of militia of Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) demonstrates flags of Ukraine and of Right Sector right-wing   radical group (banned in Russia) found in a camp of Ukrainian forces outside Mariupol, Ukraine - Sputnik International, 1920, 06.03.2022
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There is evidence of Azov members, who have engaged in hostilities against the people of Donbas, committing outright war crimes, including kidnapping, torture and mass looting, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) reported in 2016. It has also been one of the primary tools used by the Kiev government in its crackdown against anti-Maidan protesters, who opposed the US-backed coup in Ukraine.
The Russian envoy to the UN called on the international community to address the shocking crimes committed by nationalist battalions against its own civilians in Mariupol, which include torturing captives to death in cellars and carving swastikas into their dead bodies. But Western media have chosen to “gracefully” sidestep this unpleasant reality.
© Photo : Twitter/ @ggreenwaldScreenshot of March 18 tweet by Glenn Greenwald
Screenshot of March 18 tweet by Glenn Greenwald - Sputnik International, 1920, 30.03.2022
Screenshot of March 18 tweet by Glenn Greenwald
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