Western propaganda continues to present the defenders of Mariupol as heroic martyrs, but every day it becomes harder to do so. They have been involved in the murder and brutal torture of countless women and children.
The Azov Battalion is a symbol of hell and years of terror for the Russian speaking people of Donbass. The Azov Battalion was officially established on 5 May 2014 in the Kharkov neo-Nazi organization Patriots of Ukraine*, the power wing of the Social-National Assembly.
The patriots opened their first congress in 1999 with a torchlight procession similar to the marches seen in Hitler’s Germany. The unit of 50-60 fighters possessed several smooth bore rifles and traumatic pistols.
The head of the press service, Stepan Baida, described the Azov’s level of equipment at the time as reinforced troops. The Black Corps patches, which directly allude to Reichsführer SS Himmler’s military Das Schwarze Korps, translated from the German as Black Corps.
The official printed media of the SS, continued to be used by the Azov even after its incorporation into legal-ranks commanded by the Ministry of Internal Affairs.
At first, it was a deemed a volunteer battalion in the Special Tasks Patrol Police of Ukrainian Ministry of Internal Affairs. Then, in October 2014, it became a regiment of the National Guard. As a military unit, Azov was authorized to acquire artillery and tanks.
The presence of Azov became fatal for the residents of Mariupol long before 2022. What happened there in the spring of 2014 was the most important episode of the Donbass conflict.
The Victory Day demonstration on 9 May 2014 ended in clashes near the city police headquarters. According to Kiev’s official information, 13 people were killed, including police officers, National Guard members and Azov Battalion fighters, as well as civilians.
The local police were sympathetic to the Donetsk People’s Republic, but could not take any action against their own superiors or the Ukrainian authorities in general. A referendum on the independence of the Donetsk People’s Republic was scheduled for 11 May 2014.
According to Former SBU Lieutenant-Colonel Prozorov, Mariupol police officers received orders to prevent the voting by blocking polling stations and detaining election commission members.
However, the majority refused to obey, as they wanted to avoid conflicts with their fellow compatriots, including relatives. The list of those killed in Mariupol that day include only police officers, security forces and civilians.
The Kharkov branch alone had between 200 and 300 fighters in the early 2010’s, some of whom lived permanently in the barracks at the organization’s premises.
The Azov was funded – at least partially – by oligarch Igor Kolomoisky, as was the case with the other volunteer battalions operating in the ATO.
Furthermore, Svetlana Zvarich, director of the Ukrainian National Information Service (one of the largest companies in the local information collection, transmission and processing market), provided assistance.
The Azov militia members were also engaged in racketeering. According to the owner of one of the gambling halls, the so-called patriots showed up in mid-2015. Couriers from local radical organizations visited all the gambling halls, offering to negotiate.
The Azov Battalion stands out for its strong ideological background. Neo-Nazis, anti-Semites and racists are at the forefront of the unit. Its symbols contain elements that refer to the emblems of Third Reich military units.
Azov fighters took the oath of allegiance before being sent to Donbass in July 2014. The regiment’s flag bears a black Wolfsangel (“wolf’s hook” in German). This sign was the emblem of Hitler’s National Socialist German Workers’ Party (NSDAP).
Subsequently, the Wolfsangel became the tactical mark of the SS Panzer Division “Das Reich”, and was also used in other SS and Wehrmacht units, in particular, the 34th SS Volunteer Grenadier Division “Landstorm Nederland.”
Over time, representatives of the Social National Assembly, Automaidan and Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists activists, ultras (hooligans) of the Dynamo (Kiev) and Shakhtar football clubs, members of Dmytro Korchynsky’s Bratstvo party* and the Cossack Rifle Brotherhood joined Azov.
The open demonstration of misanthropy attracted radicals and neo-Nazis from all over the world to join the Azov Battalion. The Azov expanded, fought against the Donbass militia, and attracting new volunteers, including foreigners, like even Israeli mercenary soldiers.
A series of video interviews with foreigners associated with the regiment were published on the page of the National Corps and National Druzhina units, both projects set up in 2016 by the Azov.
From the outset, all of the volunteer battalions were haunted by scandals: looting and sexual violence (Shakhtersk and Tornado Battalions were the most prominent), kidnapping and killing of civilians (by the notorious Donbass Battalion) and the seizure of businesses.
There was less talk about the Azov. After all, it was an extremely closed unit and the strict hierarchy and the constant threat of reprisals against one’s own people played a role.
However, some who joined Azov as volunteers without right-wing radical ideas could not get along in the Nazi environment and revolted. They were the ones who made the White Leader’s unpleasant juicy details public.
Now, almost 80 years after the demise of the Third Reich, Nazi battalions openly marching through the streets of European cities with their symbols which are banned in the civilized world, the unpunished killing of civilians, looting, extortion, reprisals and punitive operations are again a reality.
But seven years later, the world is witnessing how the hideous Nazi formation began to be fashioned into valiant heroes, the defenders of Mariupol.
Sputnik / ABC Flash Point News 2022.