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U.S. Arming the Nazi Azov Battalion in Ukraine, Exposes Max Blumenthal

Jan. 23, 2018 (EIRNS)—Max Blumenthal, in a long article published in The Real News Network ( and carried on the website of the American Committee for East-West Accord, reports on the U.S. arming of the Nazi Azov Battalion in Ukraine, beginning during the Obama Administration.

It started in October 2016, he reports,

“when the Texas-based AirTronic company announced a contract to deliver $5.5 million worth of PSRL-1 rocket-propelled grenade launchers to an Allied European military customer. In June 2017, photos turned up on Azov’s website showing its fighters testing PSRL-1 grenade launchers in the field.”

Then, in November 2017,

“an American military inspection team visited the Azov Battalion on the front lines of the Ukrainian civil war to discuss logistics and deepening cooperation. Images of the encounter showed American army officers poring over maps with their Ukrainian counterparts, palling around and ignoring the Nazi-inspired Wolfsangel patches emblazoned on their sleeves.”

He writes that Azov, which has been incorporated into the Ukrainian National Guard, is recruiting in right-wing organizations across Europe. “Foreign fighters are promised training with heavy weapons, including tanks, at Ukrainian camps filled with fascist fellow travelers.”

He writes that AirTronic Chief Operating Officer Richard Vandiver, in an interview in December 2017 on Voice of America, said the sale of grenade launchers was authorized through

“very close coordination with the U.S. Embassy, with the U.S. State Department, with the U.S. Pentagon and with the Ukrainian government.”

Blumenthal continues that the House Defense Appropriations Act adopted last September included a provision ensuring that “none of the funds made available by this Act may be used to provide arms, training, or other assistance to the Azov Battalion.” But, Blumenthal writes,

“the provision has yet to be authorized. Back in 2015, pressure from the Pentagon prompted Congress to strip out a similar restriction, and questions remain about whether it will ever be enforced.”

He also reviews the history of CIA support for Nazis after World War II, including recruiting Mykola Lebed, a Gestapo-trained leader of the OUN (Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists). He then turns to the Maidan:

“The relationship came full circle after the corrupt but democratically elected Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych was ousted in the 2014 coup known as Euro-Maidan. From the ranks of the neo-fascist street toughs that waged a pitched battle against national riot police in Kiev’s Maidan Square, the Azov Battalion was formed to do battle with pro-Russian separatists in the country’s east. The militia’s commander, Andriy Biletsky, had earned his stripes as a leader of the fascist group, Patriot of Ukraine.”

He notes that “the veteran fascist Social-National Party founder Andriy Parubiy has risen to the role of Speaker” in the Kiev parliament,

“while Vadym Troyan, a leader of Biletsky’s neo-Nazi Patriot of Ukraine organization who served as a deputy commander of Azov, was appointed police chief of the province of Kiev.”

“Across Ukraine,” he writes,

“Nazi collaborators like Stepan Bandera have been celebrated with memorials and rallies proclaiming them as national heroes.... Last May, Azov supporters held a torchlit rally in Lviv, in honor of Gen. Roman Shukhevych, the late commander of the UPA insurgent militia that helped massacre thousands of Jews in Lviv.”

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