KIEV, UKRAINE – Western media have attempted to all but deny the existence of neo-Nazis in Ukraine, alleging that Russia’s goal to de-Nazify Kiev is not possible because Ukraine’s president is Jewish. But what is to be made of an Israeli Jew openly calling himself the co-founder of the neo-Nazi Azov Battalion?
Kiev’s infamous Azov Battalion, officially part of the National Guard of Ukraine, has been widely acknowledged as a neo-Nazi volunteer paramilitary force. It has also been connected with foreign white supremacist organizations. In addition to this, the far-right, neo-Nazi and white-nationalist members in its ranks have even been criticized by the likes of Human Rights Watch and the United Nations for human rights abuses.
Despite the well-documented history of racially motivated crimes and attacks on Ukraine’s LGBTQ+ community, the battalion has been indirectly and continually armed by Western powers. In June 2015 the United States and Canada banned the support and/or training of Azov by their forces, specifically citing its neo-Nazi connections. However, the following year the U.S. lifted its ban owing to pressure from the Pentagon. In 2019, The Nation magazine published an article in which it was stated that “[p]ost-Maidan Ukraine is the world’s only nation to have a neo-Nazi formation in its armed forces.” All of which is to say that Azov can conclusively be labeled neo-Nazi. This may be why reports are now emerging of White Supremacists and far-Right militia members flocking to Ukraine, to fight alongside extremist forces in the country.
Israeli support of and involvement in the Azov Battalion
Prior to Azov becoming an integrated part of the Ukrainian military, the group was funded primarily by Ukrainian oligarchs, the most well known of whom was Igor Kolomoisky. Kolomoisky is of Jewish heritage and is an Israeli citizen and well-known billionaire businessman. Despite his being a Jewish Israeli, he had no problem pouring money into neo-Nazi volunteer militias such as the Azov and Aidar, among other far-right groups that feature elements hostile to Jewish people.
Although the Jewish president of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, is often held up by mainstream Western media as proof that there is no problem with neo-Nazis in Ukraine, he himself received financial backing from the same oligarch – Igor Kolomoisky – who was financing neo-Nazis. Zelenskyy’s presidential bid in 2019, which saw him win 73% of the vote, was successful on the basis that he was running in order to combat corruption and create peace in the country but, as the leaked documents known as the Pandora Papers revealed, he himself was storing funds in offshore bank accounts. Zelenskyy’s campaign was at the time boosted and bankrolled by the Israeli-Ukrainian-Cypriot billionaire Kolomoisky – who was himself accused of stealing $5.5 billion from his own bank….