Although Ukraine’s revolution was overwhelmingly driven by liberal Ukrainians seeking to join Europe, the Maidan movement has included some troubling elements: a small but vocal collection of extreme Ukrainian nationalists. The United States has largely overlooked this to date — but that recently changed.

The U.S. House of Representatives unanimously passed an amendment to the U.S. military budget prohibiting training and support for the extremist paramilitary Azov battalion. Congressman John Conyers did not mince words, stating, “I am grateful that the House of Representatives unanimously passed my amendments last night to ensure that our military does not train members of the repulsive neo-Nazi Azov Battalion.”

Many Ukrainians cried foul at the House’s action. The Azov issued a statement expressing “outrage” at the decision, while Anton Gerashchenko, an aide to Ukraine’s Minister of the Interior Arsen Avakov, helpfully suggested that U.S. intelligence might want to look into Conyers’ associations.

But Ukrainians should not be surprised at Congress’ action. The Azov is the military wing of the Social-National Assembly of Ukraine (SNA), a party founded by avowed white supremacist Andriy Biletsky. Biletsky’s views are troubling to say…

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One thought on “Ukraine Should Beware the Azov Extremists by Josh Cohen

  1. The Interior Ministry suggested U.S. Intelligence might want to look into Conyers’ associations because that’s the way they would do it in Ukraine. Announce that they were commencing an investigation, and then Poof!!! find a bunch of cash in his office and some plane tickets, and badda-bing, badda-boom, Conyers is in jail. “Justice” comes swiftly in Ukraine to those who have annoyed the government. And of course the USA had every reason to know it was giving the keys to a freak show in Kiev, but it didn’t care – secondary to the geopolitical considerations.


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