As members of the Azov Battalion mark the first anniversary of the formation of their all-volunteer paramilitary militia, their military commander is vowing that the far right group will not lay down its weapons until Ukraine has reclaimed Crimea and the breakaway Donbass region.
The military commander of the Neo-Nazi unit, Andriy Biletsky, has used the social media to reach out to his comrades-in-arms. He wrote that 1,200 fighters under his command won’t lay down arms and will continue fighting until the flags of the unit are raised over Donbass and Crimea.
“Donetsk, Lugansk and Crimea have always been and will be an integral part of Ukraine. And it’s all in our forces. We are heading in the right direction,” Biletsky is quoted as saying by the Ukrainian media.
He also said that Azov remains just about the only battleworthy Ukrainian unit and reminded that when it was created a year ago, it consisted of only 60 partisans.
The Azov battalion is a volunteer armed unit formed a year ago in Mariupol. Many Azov members hold Neo-Nazi beliefs. The official Azov emblem is the Wolfsangel ("wolf-anchor"). During World War II, the symbol and its elements were used by various Nazi German military units, including the SS Panzer Division.