Ukraine Crisis: Azov Battalion, Mariupol Military Trap
Denis Pushilin, the Russian-backed separatist Donetsk People’s Republic’s President since 2018, claims the Azov Battalion and Ukrainian forces stuck at the Azovstal factory in Mariupol have sought evacuation. Women are shown in the new film stating they only have enough water and food to live a few more days. Mariupol has expected to retain around 100,000 people — down from a pre-war population of over 430,000. Azov Battalion members assert that the emblem is an acronym for the motto I (Ukrainian for “National Idea”) and reject any link to Nazism. The unit’s original leader was Andriy Biletsky, a far-right nationalist who commanded the neo-Nazi Social-National Assembly and Patriot of Ukraine.
In 2014, a regimental spokeswoman said that between 10%–and 20% of the battalion has comprised of neo-Nazis. A clause in a United States Congress spending bill prohibited military assistance to Azov based on its white nationalist ideology.