X Close

Why Russia fears the Azov battalion Their treatment will decide the future of the war

"They are definitely not Nazis" (Dmytro Kozatsky via Getty Images)

"They are definitely not Nazis" (Dmytro Kozatsky via Getty Images)


May 24, 2022   5 mins

“People say that we are heroes,” says Lieutenant Illya Samoilenko. “But heroism only occurs when planning and organisation fails.” It’s early May and Samoilenko, second-in-command of the Azov Battalion that has spent weeks inside Mariupol’s besieged Azovstal steel plant, is talking to journalists in a closed press conference over Zoom. The steelworks are vast: a four-square-mile maze of tunnels designed to survive nuclear war. He is sitting against a filthy wall, clearly exhausted. His black hair is damp, his long beard has grown out under siege.

The situation is dire. There are around 2,000 soldiers in the plant, 700 of whom are reportedly wounded. But Samoilenko is defiant. “We could have retreated months ago when it was clear Russia was encircling us,” he says. “But we had to stay to fight.”

Ultimately, however, he is resigned: “We are military. Our job is to die for the country. I know that each one of our communications with the world can be our last. A lot of people in Ukraine gave their lives to defend the West. Don’t let it be in vain. We know that we’re dead men. That’s why we fight so fiercely.”

But in the weeks since that meeting, he received a reprieve — of sorts. Russia subsequently allowed wounded civilians to leave the plant. Then the soldiers started evacuating. Those inside were not just Azov fighters, but also Marines, police and border guards. On May 20, the last of them left in buses laid on by the Russian army. Ukraine and Russia had struck a deal to spare their lives. The Red Cross would accompany them out. The downside? They’d be going to Russian-controlled Donbas.

This is bad. The Azov Battalion are no ordinary fighters; they tied up Russian firepower for months, which gave other cities the chance to prepare and to better resist. In Ukraine, they call them the 300, or the Spartans: they are heroes. For Russia, though, they are something else entirely: the corporeal embodiment of the Nazi trope Moscow has used to justify its invasion of Ukraine from the very beginning.

They call them the 300. (Dmytro Kozatsky via Getty Images)

“We’ve been accused of being Nazis and far-Right radicals and other bullshit,” Samoilenko told us. “The only thing we’re radical about is defending Ukraine.” But in the days since their capture, Russian officials have said that Azov fighters are “Nazi criminals” who must not be part of any prisoner swap with Ukraine. The battalion’s Twitter feed went silent on Friday. Ukrainian friends search for more information. They worry.

The story of the Azov fighters contains within it many of the contradictions and tropes and lies and truths that make up this war, while the story of their evacuation from the plant marks the end of the war’s beginning.

***

Russia has never got over its Second World War victory. It was perhaps its last unequivocal victory that was also an unequivocal moral good — even if the means were often anything but. It squats in the collective consciousness (helped by no end of state-sponsored content). Like so many national myths it is Manichean in form, based upon a fundamental binary: Good Russians versus Evil Nazis.

When Ayatollah Khomeini of Iran needed to send thousands of Iranians into Iraq to fight Saddam Hussein, he employed the imagery of the day of Ashura to motivate them. They were marching to fight not Saddam but the modern-day Caliph Yazid who had martyred Hussein at Karbala in 680, the central event of Shiism. As Khomeini was heard to have remarked: “Gradually the political dimension of this matter is becoming evident and, God willing, it will become even more apparent.”

Khomeini understood that to mobilise people to fight, you must give them the enemy they want. Moscow has been doing this since the moment Ukrainians overthrew their pro-Russian President, Viktor Yanukovych, in what Moscow described as a “fascist coup”. In those early days the Nazi enemy was Pravy Sektor, a hard-Right group that had battled government riot police and troops on the streets of Kyiv. Its leader Dmytro Yarosh became for Russians a kind of Emmanuel Goldstein figure, on to whom they could transpose all the sins of Nazi Ukraine. Wherever I went in the occupied east of the country in 2014, people told me tales of the murder and pillage he had apparently committed.

Today, the battalion is a mix of political affiliations and ethnicities. (Dmytro Kozatsky via Getty Images)

Pravy Sektor soon faded into irrelevance. Not least because a far more impressive — that is to say threatening — enemy had appeared: the Azov battalion. Founded in May 2014, it recaptured Mariupol from Russian forces (aligned with local pro-Russian separatists) in June. It was a big win for Ukraine. The Russians were enraged. It was, they said, a victory by Nazis.

They weren’t totally wrong. When Russia invaded Crimea in February 2014, and then eastern Ukraine in April, the Ukrainian state was in trouble. It was under attack and underprepared; it needed people who could fight — and fast. The requisite raw material could be found on the football terraces and among the far-Right. The movement had its origins in football Ultras in the North-eastern city of Kharkiv, who then morphed into a volunteer battalion originally called the “Black Corps” which some suggest was a reference to the official German Schutzstaffel (SS) periodical published in 1935-1944 (Das Schwarze Korps).

As Aris Roussinos has noted, the movement was founded in 2014 by Andriy Biletsky, former leader of the Ukrainian neo-Nazi group Patriot of Ukraine, during the Euromaidan Revolution. Biletsky was a typical far-Right scumbag, steeped in both thuggery and pseudo-intellectual, anti-Semitic thought. Among his more absurd and sinister claims was the one that Ukraine would “lead the white races of the world in a final crusade
 against Semite-led untermenschen”.

But he didn’t last long. A career in politics — one that would ultimately fail — beckoned and off he went in late 2014. Meanwhile, as the analyst Ivan Gomza observes, the state knew it had to co-opt Azov and channel its militancy in a useful way, and so, in October 2014, it incorporated the battalion into Ukraine’s National Guard (a militarised branch of the Ministry of Internal Affairs). It has functioned under the auspices — and orders — of the state ever since.

Today, the battalion is a mix of political affiliations and ethnicities. The Jewish philosopher Bernard-Henri LĂ©vy — one of the most public opponents of fascism and anti-Semitism in the world — recently spoke to several of its senior members. “There are so many different types of fighters,” he told me, “including Brits and Greeks and Jews and Georgians, and they are definitely not Nazis. This is just a slander.”

But it is a necessary one. Azov has proved to be Russia’s most formidable opponents. They held up the entire advance into south Ukraine. They came to embody everything Russia claimed it was fighting against. Now they are in its hands. How they are treated will provide a signpost to what comes next. If they appear at show trials — after obvious torture — then we will know that Putin is doubling down on his madness. If talks of a prisoner exchange materialise, it will signal that broader compromise is possible.

Either way, two things are clear. First, the Azov fighters are in the closest approximation to hell on earth for them right now. And second, their fate will decide what comes next, not just for them, but for the country for which they have fought so hard.


David Patrikarakos is UnHerd‘s foreign correspondent. His latest book is War in 140 characters: how social media is reshaping conflict in the 21st century. (Hachette)

dpatrikarakos

Join the discussion


Join like minded readers that support our journalism by becoming a paid subscriber


To join the discussion in the comments, become a paid subscriber.

Join like minded readers that support our journalism, read unlimited articles and enjoy other subscriber-only benefits.

Subscribe
Subscribe
Notify of
guest

107 Comments
Most Voted
Newest Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Martin Bollis
Martin Bollis
2 years ago

I read Aris’s article a few weeks ago, which seemed to make a convincing case that Azov indeed had very far right roots and was, by no means, an isolated paramilitary but an integral part of the Ukrainian political and military set up.

This article acknowledges the unsavoury antecedents but seems to posit that the Ukrainian state has largely neutralised them by integrating Azov.

As usual you’re left, with no first hand knowledge, pondering the agenda’s of the writers.

We have some Ukrainians living with us so I asked them. They are a normal middle class couple in impossible circumstances having been chased out of Donetsk in 2014 and now out of the country all together. In their view Azov are pretty ultra patriots but by no means ultra right – think more “full on” Marine Corps rather than SS.

Interestingly, they are not Ukrainian patriots in the way I might be a British patriot. They speak Russian as a first language at home and freely acknowledge the complex make up of their country. Their beef is very simply the knowledge, born of some international travel and exposure to uncontrolled media, that a western aligned state is a very much better place to live than an autocracy run by a Mafia chief.

mike otter
mike otter
2 years ago
Reply to  Martin Bollis

If these guys are such patriotic pro soldiers why the Sun Wheel and Wolfsangel tattoos?

Last edited 2 years ago by mike otter
Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
2 years ago
Reply to  mike otter

Why did punk rockers, my own friends, sport swastika badges and sing ‘Belsen was a gas’? Plain exhibitionism – but you knew that already.

R Baron
R Baron
2 years ago
Reply to  Ian Stewart

You’ve spoken to any of them privately, Ian?
If you did you would find they do indeed worship the Na*i creed, the purity of a race, think they’re the chosen ones, what you and the others batting for them miss is that the orthodox core of the Right Sector hates the West as much as it does the Russians, the gays, the Jews, they want nothing to do with either the western culture or the one from the east.

If you speak Russian watch Anatolij Sharij on u-tube, he’s an Ukrainian blogger, millions follow him, he’s spot on the Azov boys and girls, he lived amongst them, knows them better any western MSM member.

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
2 years ago
Reply to  Martin Bollis

Those are all very good points, but I would point out that the notion of ‘British patriotism’ is just as complex. After all, no state called ‘Great Britain’ existed until 1707 and it was a brand-new invention then. England has never been an island, sceptred or otherwise! Also, without wanting to further the SNP grievance mill, it is the case that English people often used the terms ‘English’ and ‘British’ almost interchangeably, as do of course many Americans, French etc. The original truly ‘British’ languages, Welsh and Gaelic, were actively suppressed and discouraged until very recent times.

Last edited 2 years ago by Andrew Fisher
Madeleine Jones
Madeleine Jones
2 years ago

I find the portrayal of WWII by Russia offputting. Yes, it was a moral must to defeat Hitler. But the Soviet Union didn’t ‘liberate’ Europe at all. On their way to Berlin, Soviets massacred, rap*d and pillaged villages. Afterwards, they ruled and oppressed much of Europe. A true liberator can rule and oppress the now free-people, but chooses not to. To Russia, Nazi means ‘Westerner.’ This is why nations like UK, Germany, France must push back on this and not fall into the trap of saying ‘oh, the Azovs are diverse and multiracial – they aren’t Nazis!’ Trust me, the Russians do not care about this nuance.
I’m not a fan of the West’s needless history wars, where we are all evildoers with no redeeming features. But the opposite – helpless victims who rise up and liberate others due to inbuild superiority – is just as gross.

Peter B
Peter B
2 years ago

Russia also co-started WWII by invading Poland. Then the Baltic States. Then Finland. It’s time to end this whitewashing of history. Thye directly enabled WWII.

Linda Hutchinson
Linda Hutchinson
2 years ago
Reply to  Peter B

Yes. The Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact allowed Germany to have a free hand to attack in the west and not have to fear an enemy on their eastern flank – before, of course, Hilter turned east. It also allowed Stalin to take half of Poland as a prize.

ARNAUD ALMARIC
ARNAUD ALMARIC
2 years ago

The ‘blank cheque’ Chamberlain gave to Poland, after Munich, had a ‘secret’ clause that meant we would only defend her from German attack, the Soviets could do what they liked. What an utter disgrace, but indicative of the pressure that Chamberlain was under poor chap.

Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
2 years ago
Reply to  Peter B

Are Russians aware of this? They bang on about perfidious Albion and yet their own leader played games with 20 million Russian lives.

Martin Terrell
Martin Terrell
2 years ago
Reply to  Peter B

A point worth making. If Stalin had simply stayed neutral, Hitler would have thought twice before invading Poland, and had he invaded, would have had a much harder time of it.

Sam McGowan
Sam McGowan
2 years ago

You might want to look at a map. Yes, Soviet troops liberated most of Europe from the Nazis, but then they brought them under another kind of bondage. As for troops raping and pillaging, that’s part of war. US, British and Canadians did it too but it was swept under the rug. Union troops raped and stole all through the South during Lincoln’s war. As for the Nazis, they were born and bred in the West.

Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
2 years ago
Reply to  Sam McGowan

You might want to read some history. The west didn’t exist prior to WW2 – it was nip and tuck as to whether the USA would even get involved.
And your view of the rape that took place by Russian soldiers. Again try reading some history books – the scale of rape by Russian troops has been quantified and compared with rape complaints by western troops – and it wasn’t even on the same planet Mr Equivalence.

harry storm
harry storm
2 years ago
Reply to  Ian Stewart

Different war, different time, false equivalence, What about? What about?

Colin Elliott
Colin Elliott
2 years ago
Reply to  Sam McGowan

I can assure you that British troops did not rape and pillage, and I feel certain that was the case for US and Canadians too, although I have no direct knowledge of that. That it has been part of war since forever, it is true, but the Geneva conventions codified rules quite effectively.
Of course a few troops will have committed crimes, because an army will contain all sorts, but they would have risked prosecution.

martin logan
martin logan
2 years ago
Reply to  Colin Elliott

There were 1000s of cases of rape among allied forces in WW2. But the real point is: those were CRIMINAL cases, brought by the allied govts.
Indeed, NATO/western soldiers have been tried for war crimes in more recent wars.
Crime is pan-human. It’s what you do about it that sets civilization apart from barbarism.

Madeleine Jones
Madeleine Jones
2 years ago
Reply to  Sam McGowan

In what world does ‘liberation’ involve rape?

Alan Hawkes
Alan Hawkes
2 years ago

Simply, it shouldn’t. It’s the bad apple in the barrel, situation. Countries and societies are liberated in moral causes, but some individuals are not moral and other individuals suffer.

harry storm
harry storm
2 years ago
Reply to  Sam McGowan

Utter BS.

R Baron
R Baron
2 years ago

Read Curzio Malaparte ‘Kaput’ to educate yourself on what the Na*is did to the ordinary Russians then talk.

Madeleine Jones
Madeleine Jones
2 years ago
Reply to  R Baron

I am well aware of the atrocities done to ordinary Russians by the Third Reich. This does not justify the Soviet crimes of r*pe and nor do they earn the title of ‘liberator.’

Iris C
Iris C
2 years ago

Yes! The soviets “ruled and suppressed” Europe after WW2 but I will never forget that the Russians saved the UK when Hitler did not press home their advantage after our defeat and demoralisation at Dunkirk. America sent us military hardware to fight (for which we had to pay – thus our national debt) but the Russians gave their lives – more Russian citizens lost their lives than all the other nations put together…

harry storm
harry storm
2 years ago
Reply to  Iris C

The USSR defeated Hitler but in no way did they ‘save the UK.’

Alan Hawkes
Alan Hawkes
2 years ago
Reply to  Iris C

Per head of population I think that the Ukrainians suffered heavier losses than Russia and Hitler could not press home his advantage against Britain, because the RAF denied Germany air superiority and the RN controlled the seas.

Martti O Suomivuori
Martti O Suomivuori
2 years ago

Being and doing…The Azov Batallion is said to be extreme right, with Anti-Semites and Neo-Nazis waving ugly flags and slogans, with the dark shadow of Hitler’s thugs and murderers associated. With all definitions, they ARE what we know Evil is. Paul O verified this fact with Google. Authority!
Only that Evil is what Evil does. Is there anything that comes on par with the savage mass killings, targeted assassinations, and destruction of living quarters, schools, and hospitals that the Russian troops carried out in Bucha? Did Azov Batallion leave behind them mutilated and raped children? Where are their mass graves filled with civilians? Where are the “filtration camps” that the Azov Batallion organized for ethnic Russians? Did you see them burning history books?
It is Russia who is the real Fascist and it has been torched up in nationalist rage. They act Fascist at plein regime, they do it Full Monty! If they think that by yelling “Nazi, Nazi!” at Ukrainian patriots they can wash the innocent blood off their hands, they are mistaken. Everything has been documented. The butchers of Bucha have been identified. A Slavonic version of Mossad will come after them for decades to come. Russia will never be treated as equal in the international context. It is the Land of Darkness, destined to isolation.

Paul O
Paul O
2 years ago

I wouldn’t dream of using Google Martti.

As for Bucha, I am more aligned to Modi’s view of the situation than the rampant 24-7 propaganda in western media. Modi’s diplomatic answer when asked about it (prior to his meeting with Biden) was statesman like and the kind of pragmatic answer our politicians should be giving.

Alas, few people in the west will have heard Modi’s comments as nobody wants the public to know that there is any view other than the given narrative as provided by the BBC and CNN to the unquestioning masses.

Instead, our politicians seem more intent on using propaganda and poor Churchillian impersonations to cover-up their own domestic failings by whipping up this conflict to fever pitch, and relegating any form of statesmanship or diplomacy to a bygone era.

Martti O Suomivuori
Martti O Suomivuori
2 years ago
Reply to  Paul O

Having seen the bombed schools and hospitals, mass graves, targeted victims’ hands tied and shot to the backs of their heads, and civilians killed on the roads, I question the eyesight of the said Modi. Or maybe one sees things more clearly when one takes a 4500km distance from the focal point. The arms deal with Putin on December 7th also helps put things in the right context.
The historical Nazis of Azov are Sunday-school children next to the savages let loose by Putin and his stooges. They were torturing for Telegram! TikTok rapists. PaulO, what do you see when you look in the mirror?
I know you see a person with a loose relationship with truth- here’s what you wrote: A quick Google search will uncover headlines such “Neo-Nazi groups recruit Britons to fight in Ukraine,” which starts off by saying “the Azov battalion, a notorious Ukrainian fascist militia, according to Hope Not Hate.” Then: “I wouldn’t dream of using Google Martti.”

Last edited 2 years ago by Martti O Suomivuori
Paul O
Paul O
2 years ago

You seem to have some an odd obsession with me suggesting people use a search engine such as Google to do their own research and not just blindly believe what the media and our politicians tell us. Of course any search engine would suffice. Personally I use Brave, but DuckDuckGo is also a valid alternative.

If you want to blindly believe whatever the Davos crowd and global elites keep wanting us to believe then that is you prerogative Martti.

If you want to believe that the Azov battalion are good guys and Zelensky is a Saint then that too is your prerogative.

If you want to continue the ‘fight to the last Ukrainian’ strategy to beat the bad man that is your prerogative.

I just prefer to get as wide a take on any situation as I can and question everything our untrustworthy politicians tell us, and will continue to support a diplomatic solution.

Martti O Suomivuori
Martti O Suomivuori
2 years ago
Reply to  Paul O

“Reports: #Ukrainians
holding #Indians as hostage
& human shields in #Kharkiv
& #Kyiv. It’s a treacherous
conspiracy to derail #India
#Russian brotherhood”
Is this what you want to see?

P Branagan
P Branagan
2 years ago

The Ukrainians have committed war crimes in almost every hamlet, village, town and city on the front lines by using civilians as human shields, setting up sniper and mortar positions in apartment blocks, storing weaponry in civilian facilities like schools, hospitals and other public buildings.
The entire Ukrainian defence strategy is one ongoing war crime against their own.
And that’s not to mention shooting captured Russian soldiers in the knees and murdering captured officers.
It’s sad that most Unherd readers are so easily fooled by Ukrainian and MSM propaganda that has turned them into hate filled warmongers with a moral compass no better than a 1950s Hollywood cowboy and indians movie.

koxlc
koxlc
2 years ago
Reply to  P Branagan

Who invaded whom? Who is stealing whos land? Who has famine murdered whom in Holodomor? Who has settled its people on whos land?

Raymond Inauen
Raymond Inauen
2 years ago

Despite the propaganda, the situation in Ukraine has not developed as most of us expected. Russian superiority has proven to be a myth and the Russian army is overwhelmed when dealing with an enemy that is not ready to fold at the first moment of battle. The fact that the Russian army is still using the same tactics in this conflict also shows that the military has learned very little before engaging in this conflict, which I would say is a blessing for the Ukrainians as it gives them a chance to fight back. The next few months will show whether the Russian army has the stamina to hold out, or whether there will be desertions that could lead to a total withdrawal, or whether they will learn and change their tactics in the coming weeks to turn the tide against the Ukrainians. Russia today, as in the past, is very good at looking more powerful than it is. So the question is what power it still has, and will it be enough to end the conflict with a victory, or will it end in a long stalemate?
The Azov Battalion’s continued struggle and resistance is just the tip of the iceberg of Ukrainian fighting spirit. Whether you agree with it or not, it shows that they are not ready to fall over without a really hard fight. They have surrendered, but the fighting spirit, oh that fighting spirit, is what it’s all about.

Hardee Hodges
Hardee Hodges
2 years ago
Reply to  Raymond Inauen

The Russians, likely because of internal instability issues, are using foreign mercenaries along with Russians from the hinterlands. That avoids the casualties to upset the main of Russia. Soon they will need to call up and use more that will allow mothers at home to worry. Whether Putin’s assurances can be maintained remains to be seen. Front line Russians seem dejected, not so willing to die. Still they are committing crimes that some of them cannot stomach.

Neven Curlin
Neven Curlin
2 years ago

Patrikarakos’ emo-propaganda has been pretty bad so far, from a journalistic POV. But now he has gone full overboard, echoing the mainstream media whitewash of neonazis. I watch in amazement at all the ‘articles’ the Unherd editor board lets through, with hardly any opposing views that could provide the semblance of balance. Very weak journalism, but probably commercially the right thing to do, given the obvious preponderance of male British pensioners in the comment section.

Allow me to quote this text as some form of balance, from the Awful Avalanche blog:

In 2014, after the Maidan coup, the citizens of Mariupol overwhelmingly voted in a referendum to split off from Ukraine and join Russia. The response of the new coup government was to send in the Nazis to terrorize the people and keep them in line. For the next 8 years the Azov Battalion set up its criminal HQ in Mariupol, these guys behaved basically like a criminal gang (one might call them the “Aryan Brotherhood”) extorting all the local businesses and terrorizing the civilians, whom they regarded as enemies. The hatred between the locals and the Azov was mutual, which was why the Azovs never could break out of their fortress prison in individual groups, they knew the locals would turn them over to the Russians without a second glance, if they should find some of them wandering around the countryside.

During their 8-year Reign of Terror the Azov Nazis murdered, tortured and raped the local civilians while building a lucrative criminal empire on the port trade. They made the Sicilian Mafia look like boy scouts. After the Russians invaded, the Azovs holed up in schools and hospitals, setting up their artillery, literally using civilians as human shields. Which is why the Russians were forced to destroy so much civilian infrastructure. The Azovs wouldn’t fight like men, they wouldn’t allow the civilians to leave in humanitarian corridors, because they didn’t want to be left alone, mano a mano, with real soldiers. Preferring to hide behind women and children.

In the end, they turned out to be bad fighters, even worse tacticians, and were overcome, within a month or so, by much less numerous and worse-equipped Separatist troops. After which these Nazis fled into the AzovSteel bunker and hid out like rats until they ran out of food.

There’s a video compilation of Azov hero tattoos at the end of the blog post.

Looking forward to the next Patrikarakos sentimental propaganda piece…

mike otter
mike otter
2 years ago
Reply to  Neven Curlin

Sad but true – if our western govts position is so weak they need allies like that the Chinese particularly will be heartened and longer term Russia is probably safer from Biden/BJ/Trudeau clowns than they realise. I know Free Donetsk paramilitaries are just as criminal as Azov in terms of drugs, extortion etc but two wrongs and all that…

martin logan
martin logan
2 years ago
Reply to  mike otter

Sort of like saying that both sides in WW2 were equally guilty.

AleĆĄ Pickar
AleĆĄ Pickar
2 years ago
Reply to  Neven Curlin

I have to agree. Just reading Lev Golinkin paints a very different picture. Also, today’s Nazis have learned to work the PR. Just because an AZOV says I am not a Nazi doesn’t mean that much. David Duke claims he is a human right activist now. It is important to recognize that there are same Nazi forces on the Russian side and that the transnational Nazi movement is pretty divided over this war. For example Serbian Nazis are more likely to join Russians, while Croatian Nazis join the Ukrainian AZOV. There is certainly no ground to write such a whitewashing article about a gang of thugs that spent the last 5 years running an international recruitment program for Nazis and everyone who hates Jews, Roma and Russians. There is also a whole list of threats uttered towards President Selensky, like bullying him into immediately cancelling a “TeleMost” TV show that was supposed to show dialogues between Ukrainian and Russian every-day-people. What a magical act that they suddenly turned into Non-Nazis in such a short time. They were constantly making the press around the world, by rather shocked journalists, even last year. What a magical world we live in.

Last edited 2 years ago by AleĆĄ Pickar
martin logan
martin logan
2 years ago
Reply to  Neven Curlin

Interesting Kremlin propaganda. But of course, Putin wouldn’t permit humanitarian corridors, and shelled any attempts to evacuate.
But you knew that already.

Last edited 2 years ago by martin logan
koxlc
koxlc
2 years ago
Reply to  Neven Curlin

Your citation is comming from the heart of Russian imperialistic propaganda machine. A guy, that represents himself as Peter the Great.
https://awfulavalanche.wordpress.com/about/

Clear Water
Clear Water
1 year ago
Reply to  Neven Curlin

This is absolute propaganda! I am Asian, speaking from Asia and I have no interest in either party. But I am certainly following this war like many others around me. I have family friends here who were attending University in Kharkiv, and they confirm to me that this is pure Russian propaganda and life was very peaceful there before the Russians started bombing indiscriminately. I also have a cousin who was part of the embassy in Kyiv and he too tells me this is Russian propaganda. Our country had close ties to USSR during the soviet era. I grew up reading so many Russian books. It’s so sad to see Russia devolve into what it is today, all for one man’s ego.
About the same time when soviet union fell, my country too went into a new phase, from centralized socialism to one of opening up it’s economy to both insiders and outsiders. I had great expectations and hopes for Russia. I expected Russia to go through a transformation with democracy, I expected to finally see the arrival and rise of Russian brands and russian goods such as washing machines, refrigirators, music systems, TVs, computers etc. After 30 years, it’s yet to happen! Surprisingly, my country was able to make much more progress than Russia! Did Russia really witness democracy?

Last edited 1 year ago by Clear Water
Ira Thompson
Ira Thompson
2 years ago

The author of this essay sure made the 2014 coup that overthrew an elected president sound like no big deal, imagine if that had happened in the U.K. or the U.S. no government that came afterwards could be thought of as legitimate.

martin logan
martin logan
2 years ago
Reply to  Ira Thompson

What you’re really saying is that once a coup happens, no govt afterward is legitimate.
Since every nation has had “coups” of some kind in the past, aren’t you really saying that democracy is illegitimate, and that only people like Putin are the world’s final arbiters?

koxlc
koxlc
2 years ago
Reply to  Ira Thompson

So you are basically saying that Ukraina should have stayed a Russian vassal state and should not choose its fate as a autonomous part of EU and liberal-democratic western culture?

M. Gatt
M. Gatt
2 years ago

This unbalanced propaganda from Unherd is getting monotonous.It reminds me of the naive leftwing British press of the 1930’s pretending Germany wasnt a threat. Pathetic

Last edited 2 years ago by M. Gatt
James Kirk
James Kirk
2 years ago

I’d sooner have Rommel on my side than Macron, Scholz and Van der Lying.

koxlc
koxlc
2 years ago
Reply to  James Kirk

You comment says a lot about the value and the values of this comment section.

David Lindsay
David Lindsay
2 years ago

Vadim Shishimarin is guilty. As are people who are not 21-year-old sergeants. He may deserve his fall, but he is still the fall guy. Yet until there were war crimes trials of George W. Bush, Tony Blair, David Cameron, Nicolas Sarkozy, and all the rest of those who had likewise committed the crime of waging a war of aggression, then nor can there be a war crimes trial of Vladimir Putin. His invasion of Ukraine was not unprovoked, but it was still illegal and morally wrong.

Meanwhile, the line is being pedalled that the Azov Brigade members who have surrendered in Mariupol are covered in tattoos of swastikas and the like as a form of psychological warfare against “the real Nazis” on the other side. Yes, that’s right. That was why they permanently marked their bodies in that way, underneath their clothes. Of course it was. There is no good side in almost any war, and this is no exception.

Payton Gendron wore the same Sonnenrad symbol as those who have just lost the Azovstal steelworks. Welcome to the world of Svoboda, Pravy Sektor, the National Corps, C14, the Azov Battalion, the Aidar Battalion, the Donbas Battalion, the Dnipro-1 Battalion, the Dnipro-2 Battalion, and all the rest of them. If it is not the Sonnenrad, then it is the Wolfsangel. Those symbols have only one possible meaning. You may as well wear a swastika, and they sometimes do. Despite his initial election as a peacemaker both with Russian-speaking Ukrainians and with Russia, these are the factions on whom Volodymyr Zelensky depends, and it is beside the point that he himself is Jewish; most of Hitler’s 27 million Soviet victims were not Jewish, and the post-War Western fantasy that the War had been fought because of the persecution of the Jews is more or less unknown in what was then the USSR.

As in most wars, there are no goodies here. Each side is a ragbag of shady characters who wish to rule the whole of the area of the former Soviet Union. The likes of Mikheil Saakashvili and David Sakvarelidze have washed up in Ukraine, there to engage Nazi muscle. Everyone knows about the Wagner Group and so forth, but none of that makes any of this less true. The influence of Aleksandr Dugin does not negate the influence of Andriy Biletsky, to whom “the mission of Ukraine is to lead the White Races of the world in a final crusade for their survival against the Semite-led Untermenschen”. American and other politicians and their courtiers are now saying the quiet part out loud, that this is a proxy war with Russia with a view to its dismemberment. As long ago as 4th April, Joe Biden stated the aim of regime change.

martin logan
martin logan
2 years ago
Reply to  David Lindsay

This war started because Putin thought he could take over Ukraine.
Period.
This is about a poor, sick little man who has been enraged since 2014 that he lost Ukraine. Every effort since then has produced nothing but failure.
So he hatched a hare-brained scheme to win back all his economic and political losses.
It failed.
And after losing at Kharkiv, and then Izyum, he’s now trying to conquer a tiny portion of Luhansk to claim some sort of “victory.”
Meanwhile, his army is being ground to powder–and his country may soon follow.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
2 years ago

“Russia has never got over its Second World War victory. It was perhaps its last unequivocal victory that was also an unequivocal moral good —”
How sure are we about that?

Peter B
Peter B
2 years ago

We’re not. It certainly wasn’t good for Eastern Europe. Forty more years of communism didn’t work out too well for the Russians either. Add in that they helped start the war in 1939 by also invading Poland.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

They helped star the war in 1939 by financing and stoking communist insurrections in European countries in the 1920s an 30s which drove many Germans to vote for the Nazis as the only organization capable of standing up to them.

Sam McGowan
Sam McGowan
2 years ago

Another propaganda piece. The AZOV battalion is no more. They are now prisoners in Russia. In the video of their surrender, they are shown being checked for Nazi tattoes. As for their tying down Russian forces, that’s debatable. It doesn’t take a large force to lay siege and most of Russia’s (small by comparison) force was operating in the Donbas.

koxlc
koxlc
2 years ago
Reply to  Sam McGowan

Why are you not talking about Nazi tattoes and Nazi ideology among Russian troops and Wagner mercenaries? There are many, the problem of Ukrainian Nazism becomes irrelevant. The tattoes of Azov Nazis are not important at all in this ugly war, they are the mean of Russian war propaganda, that people like so eagerly su*k on.
Why are you not talking about Russian imperialism and neofascism of Putins regime?

Vladimir Makarenko
Vladimir Makarenko
2 years ago

Well, it was expected, Orwellian re writing of history: I guess just few years to wait when the West starts to explain that Auschwitz was a) Russian fake news, b) It were Russians who run it.
Way to go, people! Your real problem is that the mankind woke up and moves to put you in place you deserve.

Lillian Fry
Lillian Fry
2 years ago

https://usefulidiots.substack.com/p/ukrainian-journalist-exposes-the?r=8stlx&utm_medium=ios
History of the Azov Battalion that should be considered here.

Martti O Suomivuori
Martti O Suomivuori
2 years ago
Reply to  Lillian Fry

The history of Putin’s Russia is re-written on daily news today.

Last edited 2 years ago by Martti O Suomivuori
Victoria Cooper
Victoria Cooper
2 years ago
Reply to  Lillian Fry

Not sure why you’ve been voted down. Everything I heard on the video I have heard from other sources. I think we can all be grown up enough to support Ukraine whilst acknowledging there are undesirable elements. Ukraine has been complex and corrupt and run by oligarchs. It is not going to turn snow white overnight. Though I still believe de Nazification and NATO are both excuses, not reasons. Putin wants his swan song to be re enveloping Ukraine into Russia.

AleĆĄ Pickar
AleĆĄ Pickar
2 years ago

Very well said, Victoria.

Kevin Meehan
Kevin Meehan
2 years ago

They are Nazis it has has been very well published what type of paramilitary organisation Azov is and what they have been doing. So as trying women and children some of those women clearly pregnant to lampposts etc, etc. Why have Azov clearly been photographed holding the Ukrainian flag with the Nazi Symbol on the flag. There are always two sides to every war and I don’t believe everything I’ve heard on the Ukrainian side.

Andrey Dyumaev
Andrey Dyumaev
2 years ago

Azov 2022 is a legitimate Ukrainian Military unit defending its homeland with honor.

Criticizing them for some colorful characters’ political affiliations back when it was a volunteer self-defense force resisting unprovoked foreign aggression in 2014 seems odd. They simply took anyone willing to stand with them in defense of their homes BACK THEN.

If somebody invaded your country and local wingnuts or hooligans helped the local civil defense effort against the invaders, would that discredit your nation? Not in the least.

Paul O
Paul O
2 years ago

I am very surprised to see such blatant Ukrainian propaganda on Unherd. I am sure some people will read it and cheer on the Azov brigade like brave gladiators lead by Charlton Heston, but hopefully others will recall the many column inches written by everyone from Time Magazine to The Guardian prior to recent events, describing these exact same people fascists.

A quick Google search will uncover headlines such “Neo-Nazi groups recruit Britons to fight in Ukraine”, which starts off by saying “the Azov battalion, a notorious Ukrainian fascist militia, according to Hope Not Hate”.

The article is a damning piece containing phrases and quotes such as:

“For the first time we have a home-grown, proscribed, white supremacist, neo-Nazi terror group, which seeks to plan attacks and build international networks.”

Or how about this extract from a Time Magazine article from last year entitled ‘Like, Share, Recruit: How a White-Supremacist Militia Uses Facebook to Radicalize and Train New Members’.

“apart from offering a place for foreign radicals to study the tricks and tools of war, the Azov movement, through its online propaganda, has fueled a global ideology of hate that now inspires more terrorist attacks in the US than Islamic extremism does and is a growing threat throughout the Western world.”

If you spend just a few hours researching these people you will be horrified. These are not nice people. They make the British and American far-right groups look like boy scouts.

I am in no way saying that Ukraine doesn’t have a right to defend itself, but did people in Britain support the Nazis in Germany or Italy or Spain? There were some British folk who definitely did, but it was many.

The evidence is out there for all to see, but it seems many folk want to deny reality and prefer to pretend that these are brave heroes fighting for justice and not heinous, thoroughly vile and violent white nationalist extremists.

Last edited 2 years ago by Paul O
David B
David B
2 years ago
Reply to  Paul O

Citing Hope not Hate and The Guardian to support a negative labelling is risible, and can increasingly be used as a heuristic shorthand for trusting that the diametric opposite is the case.
However, I’ll reserve judgment in the case of the Azov Battalion, as this interesting article suggests.

Paul O
Paul O
2 years ago
Reply to  David B

Do you count all of the western media who wrote articles on this subject over the last decade as risible? How many sources and quotes would one need before it was not classed as heuristic shorthand or for trusting that the diametric opposite was not the case?

Terry M
Terry M
2 years ago
Reply to  Paul O

“written by everyone from Time Magazine to The Guardian”
That includes everyone from the far left to the delusional left. Who haven’t they called fascists, Nazis? Bush, Blair, Trump, Johnson, and numerous others??

Paul O
Paul O
2 years ago
Reply to  Terry M

I take your point re The Guardian and Time magazine. Which media source would you believe Terry?

Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
2 years ago
Reply to  Paul O

To be fair, risible on not just this subject, but most.

mike otter
mike otter
2 years ago
Reply to  Paul O

Well they all write what their defacto government (cops, judges, tech oligarchs, censors) tell them to. But they are not risible, dangerous cowards covering for murderers are not funny. They are banal petty crooks. In the absence of the rule of law they deserve the sort of fate handed out by the likes of Free Donetsk or their Azov opponents.

Aidan Trimble
Aidan Trimble
2 years ago
Reply to  David B

You beat me to it by a matter of hours David. Well said.

Terry M
Terry M
2 years ago
Reply to  Paul O

“did people in Britain support the Nazis in Germany or Italy or Spain?”
Britain and the US were allied with Stalin during WW2. Sometimes you work with disreputable characters who can help achieve the objective.

Paul O
Paul O
2 years ago
Reply to  Terry M

If needs must then you are right Terry. We were fighting for our own survival. This time we are knowingly arming and funding known Nazis in a conflict that does not directly involve the UK.

Maybe I am wrong, but I don’t recall us ever arming and funding known Nazis in any other conflict.

martin logan
martin logan
2 years ago
Reply to  Paul O

Funding Stalin’s terror machine in WW2 was far worse.

Reginald Duquesnoy
Reginald Duquesnoy
2 years ago
Reply to  Paul O

“The Jewish philosopher Bernard-Henri LĂ©vy — one of the most public opponents of fascism and anti-Semitism in the world”???
You have to be kidding. He is a laughing stock in France and deservedly has been cream pied publicly 6 times. Just lost a suit against a French media which claimed he was offered a bribe by Qatar in connection with the Lybian disaster. Great reference!
Reggie D.

D Glover
D Glover
2 years ago

Being cream pied publicly is not the same thing as losing an argument.

mike otter
mike otter
2 years ago
Reply to  Paul O

I agree with the guys below – Graun and hate-not hope think anyone who dresses smartly and doesn’t smoke dope is a natsee. Azov guys clearly are – whether its Sid Vicious/Prince Harry level or more sinister eugenic Odinism remains to be seen! I am not adverse to using them as muscle against Putin BUT they should be disposed of pronto after use.

Paul O
Paul O
2 years ago
Reply to  mike otter

Is it not rather reminiscent of Afghanistan? The USA and UK seem to have a habit of arming and training people who, only a few years later, turn that training and arms back on those who provided them.

martin logan
martin logan
2 years ago
Reply to  Paul O

Certainly.
The USSR is the prime example.

Hardee Hodges
Hardee Hodges
2 years ago
Reply to  Paul O

The notion of white supremacy being THE major threat to all of us is propaganda itself. There are fringe groups of both the right and left that believe in things with a germ of truth to them. Pre-WWII many on the left admired the fascists as many now claim affinity with China because it can “get things done” without pesky opposition. The origins of Azov are not descriptive of today’s troops.

mike otter
mike otter
2 years ago

There is no doubt the Azov battalion responding to the annexations used NS symbolism in their public projections, as the German Natsees did with Teutonic Knight’s imagery. This is why Azov were/are so widely cheered on wing-nut sites like Stormfront, Daily Stormer and their successors. Much of the Ukrainian NSBM and Skinhead music scene uses the same imagery. Foolish, juvenile, scary to some and intended to shock. Overall probably not as dangerous as genuine national socialists be they in the Kremiln or UK/US public sector. But it makes it very easy for Putin to prove his point to his people.

Shooter Six
Shooter Six
2 years ago

Russia doesn’t fear them anymore.

LCarey Rowland
LCarey Rowland
2 years ago

Thank you, David, for this explanation. I have been waiting for a clarification on this mysterious Azov. Martin’s phrase, below, is helpfully explanatory for us Americans: “think full on Marine Corps rather than SS.”

0 0
0 0
2 years ago

Yes the memory of WWII not so far away, so some of these young guns must have grandparents who took part in the extreme amount of Pogroms that occurred in the Ukraine at this time. Let’s ask them.

martin logan
martin logan
2 years ago

The Azov Brigade is–and always was–a red herring. It was simply used to justify Putin’s blood-drenched invasion.
There are 100s of thousands of Ukrainians fighting the most brutal war of our generation, none of whom are Nazis.
Talk about “Azov Brigade Nazis” only comes from Kremlin stooges, conscious or otherwise.

Paul O
Paul O
2 years ago
Reply to  martin logan

The most brutal war of our generation. Really? What about The Balkans or our shock and awe invasion of Iraq?

R Baron
R Baron
2 years ago

” ….since the moment Ukrainians overthrew their pro-Russian President, Viktor Yanukovych….”
My subscription will end at the next renewal day in June, I refuse to pay for a blatantly inaccurate agitprop either for one or the other party in the Ukrainian tragedy, the overthrow, or rather the putsch, was carried out by two groups of men, each a dozen strong, masked and heavily armed, hired by the West (if the telephone chat between Baroness Ashton and the Estonian FM is to be believed, nobody has denied it since, the kissing Baroness got sacked soon after), not by the EU but most likely by Nuland as her “Fugg the EU’ remark would indicate.
To say that the ‘Ukrainians overthrew Yanukovych’ is totally untrue, a piece of fake fact if ever there was one, a flagrant distortion of what actually happened, it should have been corrected by the sub-editor, but wasn’t, if one wanted to get such a false interpretation of the most crucial event that led to the eventual invasion of Ukraine one would watch the BBC or read the MSM.

koxlc
koxlc
2 years ago

Everyone is talking about Azov neonazis, white-supremacists, anti-semits, why is no-one talking about the Russian equals? Those in ranks of Wagner mercenaries and those regulars in trenches. What about the Russian everyday life nationalism?
Azov is just a good reason, a scapegoat, for Russian propaganda to justify ethnic cleansing of much more succesful and modern Ukrainian society, to steal their land and resources. But first of all, to make a patriotic show for the hearts of empowerished and supressed Russian people (from Stalinist boomers to “Fortnite” zoomers), who should be living in much better conditions and with better prospects, if Putins regime wouldn’t be one of the most corrupt, cleptocratic and greed driven.
There is not much to talk about it anyway. It is Russian imperialism that invaded Ukraine and not vice versa. It is Russians that famine murdered millions of Ukrainians years before WW2 and settled Russians on the land of killed Ukrainians. It is the same land the war in Donbass is fought right now.
All you proRussian westerners, how can dead toll of Russians (and also Ukrainians!) in WW2, justify the madness and brutality of Putins completely neofascist regime? When will you step in new realities 21. century?

Last edited 2 years ago by koxlc
Anna Whitte
Anna Whitte
2 years ago

To compare the sewage rats in hiding to 300 is laughable! Unheard has no integrity whatsoever by spewing such propaganda .

Aidan Trimble
Aidan Trimble
2 years ago
Reply to  Anna Whitte

As opposed to your hysterical propaganda?

rk syrus
rk syrus
2 years ago

Thanks to  David Patrikarakos for sharing his ideas. Here’s a question:
In Russia it is accepted as fact that Azov militants terrorized Russian-speaking civilians in Donbass for the past 8 years, shelling them daily and even treating some of them to being burned alive; early in the war Azov commander “Kalina” (now an enemy combatant prisoner) also generously shared video of his group torturing and killing uniformed Russian POWs. What are the chances that any of these 2,000 odd tattooed savages will ever leave Russian territory alive?
As US Col Macgregor said Russia has as much chance of losing a war in Ukraine as America would losing a war in Mexico. Isn’t it time for Kiev to surrender and seek a more stable political reality?

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
2 years ago
Reply to  rk syrus

Just because something is accepted as fact in Russia doesn’t mean it resembles reality in the slightest.
As for Ukrainian surrender, why would they do such a thing? While they may indeed end up losing Donbas, the Russians have proved they’re in no position to take Ukraine as a whole

Paul O
Paul O
2 years ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

You only have to research the Azov movement a little to understand that up until 2021 ALL the Western media were describing them as fascists, Nazis, white supremacists, etc.

There’s countless well written articles in pretty much every major newspaper and the BBC did editorial pieces and even whole programmes on this heinous movement. Unless you believe all of these newspapers and broadcasters have been infiltrated by Russians for the last decade, then it is safe to say that this isn’t just Russian propaganda.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
2 years ago
Reply to  Paul O

It’s well known that Azov has a far right component, though the Russian far right is much stronger politically and militarily than anything Ukraine can muster up.
However I’ve seen little evidence of these large scale war crimes the poster is insisting on, whereas the numerous war crimes committed by the Russians are well documented.
Syrus’ comment read more like something copy and pasted from the Kremlin rather than anything remotely verifiable

Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
2 years ago
Reply to  Paul O

”White supremacists”? Heck, that’s what you’re called if you don’t use a canvas shopping tote at a local food co-op. Your wide-eyed faith in the media is a critical contributor to these endless wars, foreign and domestic. The powers that enrich themselves by these hellish, bloody struggles tell the media what to say, and they say it, for money. You believe it, for God knows why.

Paul O
Paul O
2 years ago

My point was that for a decade the media has been calling the Azov battalion nazis/far right/white supremacists. But since March 2021 they have done a complete uturn and started hailing them as heroes and comparing them to the 300, etc.

So are they hard-line fascists or are they the reincarnations of Spartacus?

I am confused and that was my point re this latest piece in Unherd as it comes across as being a PR piece for the Azov fighters.

Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
2 years ago
Reply to  Paul O

With respect, and I am absolutely not trying to be argumentative or pugnacious – I apologize in advance if that’s how I come off – it appears to me that you find media to be credible. It is not. Messages to the masses are paid propaganda, and always have been. Today’s heroes become tomorrow’s villians to suit the political winds. Truths eventually leak out – after the damage is done (German concentration camps, Soviet famines, Cambodian killing fields – the list is endless without even bringing up the ongoing Covid lies and other hideous medical experiments). By all means, read the “stories”, because that is what they are. Then watch as events unfold and compare the aftermath to what you were told. Media has little of which to be proud.

Paul O
Paul O
2 years ago

You seem to have mistaken what I was saying. I think we are actually in agreement.

My point was that for years the media were saying one thing (Azov are Nazis) and now they’re hailing them as heroes.

IMHO the MSM are little more than a propaganda arm for corrupt politicians, the Davos crowd, and the global elites.

The truth of what is really happening in Ukraine will hopefully be exposed one day and people will realize they’re all bad guys, and it is the innocent people who suffer.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
2 years ago
Reply to  Paul O

Why can’t they be both? Why can’t people with views you may find abhorrent also do heroic deeds in defending a nation from an unprovoked invasion?
Russias military has a much stronger far right presence, and the far right is represented in the Russian parliament, therefore does that give NATO the right to invade Russia and shell its civilians?

Mike Michaels
Mike Michaels
2 years ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Maybe not but if they feel they are losing and being humiliated they might just fire off a tactical nuke or two.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
2 years ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Yep! And in Afghanistan the almighty USofA and the craven UK (think Helmund) with their ragtag NATO allies couldn’t even hold Bagram airbase, never mind a province, against an enemy equipped largely with only AK47s and IEDs.
Them Russians seem to be made of sterner stuff.

ARNAUD ALMARIC
ARNAUD ALMARIC
2 years ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

Home Made Bombs not IEDs please.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
2 years ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

I don’t know why I’m bothering to reply as I believe you’re simply being contrarian rather than trying to make a valid point. However you’re well aware there’s a world of difference between an invasion that failed in most of its primary objectives (and his since resorted to a medieval scorched earth policy) and the wests rather chaotic withdrawal process from Afghanistan

mike otter
mike otter
2 years ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

US – UK kill record against women, children, unarmed civilians, weddings etc is good from Vietnam to Khorasan. Kill rate against armed opponents is poor. Fitness, attitude and diet play a part but its much easier to fight for you birth place than it is for oil or drugs or to keep BJ in free booze.

mike otter
mike otter
2 years ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

To be fair they helped some people. By guarding the poppy fields from Islamist killjoys in Helmand UK forces helped get the UK ounce price of Afghani heroin from ÂŁ1.5-2k in 2000 down to about ÂŁ800-1k in 2015. So it was good news for some – Afghanis and re-sellers in UK/US for example

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
2 years ago
Reply to  rk syrus

Thanks to rk syrus for sharing his ideas. Here’s a question:
In the civilized world it is accepted as fact that Russian paedophiles raped, tortured, and terrorized Ukrainian and even Russian-speaking civilians throughout Ukraine for the past three months, shelling them daily and even treating some of them to being burned alive; Chechen commander Ramzan Kadyrov (now an enemy clown) has also generously shared video of his group torturing and killing civilians. What are the chances that any of these several thousand odd bearded savages will ever leave Russian territory alive?
As everyone has finally realised Russia has as much chance of winning a war in Ukraine as America would losing a war in Mexico. Isn’t it time for Moscow to surrender and seek a more stable political reality?

Last edited 2 years ago by Richard Craven
Judy Englander
Judy Englander
2 years ago
Reply to  Richard Craven

Are you Richard Craven (the named poster) or Drahcir Nevarc (the named editor of the post)? How can one commenter edit another’s post? Or indeed one account edit another account? And the message in the edit seems to be diametrically opposed to the message in the rest of the post. I’m confused. Am I missing something?

Peter Nockoldd
Peter Nockoldd
2 years ago
Reply to  Judy Englander

Rednalgne yduj, it’s diametric opposition indeed.

Samir Iker
Samir Iker
2 years ago
Reply to  Richard Craven

When you talk about the “civilised world”, you mean the part that launched numerous brutal, unjustified wars from Vietnam to Iraq to Libya, which provided weapons to Turkey , Pakistan and Saudis that were used to commit genocidal attacks on civilians and which looked the other way when the Donbass was being hammered?

I am sure plenty of Ukranian civilians died in the Russian invasion.
That number would be far higher if the Russians used the same military tactics that the civilised world used in Afghanistan and Iraq.

mike otter
mike otter
2 years ago
Reply to  rk syrus

Hahahaha America is fighting Mexicans today in the southern states like California Alta and Sonora Norte which US annexed in the C.19th. It’s a street level battle and the Mexicans from both sides of the border are winning at the mo. How many did Woodrow Wilson’s guns kill in Vera Cruz end of WW1? very few compared to Americans killed by Cartel guns, ODs, or their own internal fights.