(Natural News) The American government, through Congress and the administration of President Joe Biden, is funding and arming Ukraine’s neo-Nazi Azov Battalion to perpetuate a proxy war against Russia.
The Azov Special Operations Detachment, or the Azov Battalion, is a fascist and neo-Nazi battalion that is an integrated unit of the Ukrainian National Guard.
It was formed in 2014 in response to the ongoing anti-Russian, pro-European Maidan protests, as well as Russia’s annexation of Crimea and the rise of pro-Russian separatist groups in the eastern Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts (provinces).
The battalion was originally organized by Andriy Biletsky, a white supremacist and former football hooligan who went on to become a member of the Ukrainian parliament and the leader of several other fascist and neo-Nazi organizations.
Since its founding, the Azov Battalion has struggled to gain enough support in electoral politics, but its influence in other aspects of Ukrainian politics and society has only grown.
“Azov has achieved levels of mainstream media exposure far in excess of the group’s minimal electoral support,” noted Oleksiy Kuzmenko, an investigative reporter.
The Azov Battalion has even been given support by the Ukrainian government. Along with the battalion being folded into the Ukrainian National Guard, it has also received state funding. In 2019, the government gave 845,000 hryvnias (over $30,000 at the time) to the Azov Battalion for “national-patriotic education projects.”
Since the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the battalion has been instrumental in the Ukrainian government’s defense of the coastal city of Mariupol in the country’s southeast. (Related: Was bombing of Mariupol theater staged by Ukrainian Azov extremists to trigger NATO intervention?)
U.S.-bought arms and ammunition going straight to Azov Battalion
The United States has been providing aid to neo-Nazis in Ukraine since at least 2015.
With the support of former President Barack Obama, Congress at the time removed a ban on providing funding to neo-Nazi groups like the Azov Battalion from its year-end spending bill.
Several members of Congress attempted to amend laws to limit providing “arms, training and other assistance” to the Azov Battalion and other neo-Nazi militias, but this was quashed by the Obama administration’s Department of Defense.
This ban returned in 2017, but it is unclear how effective it has been due to Azov’s integration into the Ukrainian National Guard.
“It would take targeted efforts by U.S. forces in Ukraine to ensure it does not receive the same weapons and support as other units,” wrote journalists Medea Benjamin and Nicolas J.S. Davies for Fair Observer. “Today, in the midst of a war and a huge influx of U.S. military aid, that would seem to be almost impossible.”
Biden recently signed off on an emergency spending package for Ukraine that includes over $3.5 billion to purchase and transfer military supplies.
“Considering the fact that the U.S. Army has been training Ukrainian armed forces and national guard troops … Congress and the administration have paved the way for U.S. funding to end up in the hands of the most noxious elements circulating within Ukraine today,” wrote James Carden for the Nation, suggesting that members of the U.S. Armed Forces have directly trained members of the Azov Battalion.
“Supporting Ukraine’s neo-Nazis serves the U.S.’ own interests,” said Li Wei, an expert on national security issues at the China Institute of Contemporary International Relations.
“By inciting conflicts between Ukraine and Russia, the U.S. has weakened Russia further and pushed Ukraine to NATO. It has also improved its relationship with Europe, which has become more strategically dependent on the United States. The U.S. is really the biggest beneficiary of Russia-Ukraine tensions.”
Learn more about the American government’s involvement in the war in Ukraine at Corruption.news.
Watch this video of Russian troops destroying a base previously occupied by the Azov Battalion in the besieged city of Mariupol, which is claimed by the pro-Russian separatist state of Donetsk.
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