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German News Outlet Whitewashes Neo-Nazi Azov Brigade

March 19, 2022 (EIRNS)—As much as the West wants to deny there are Nazis in Ukraine, every so often Western media outlets feel the need to whitewash the existence of such groups. Germany’s Deutsche Welle English-language news site did exactly that in a story posted yesterday on the Azov Brigade which in effect says that while Nazi organizations are outlawed in Germany, they’re okay in Ukraine. Andreas Umland from the Stockholm Center for Eastern European Studies, told DW that the associations which the right-wingers in Ukraine formed would be described as “free comradeships,” or organized neo-Nazi groups in Germany. Umland noted that Azov had drawn early attention by using the Nazi Wolfsangel symbol as its emblem. “The Wolfsangel has far-right connotations, it is a pagan symbol that the SS also used,” said Umland. “But it is not considered a fascist symbol by the population in Ukraine.” (!) The Azov Regiment wants the symbol from the Nazi era to be understood as stylized versions of the letters N and I, standing for “national idea.”

Umland went on to dismiss the “legend” of Azov as right wing extremists as the product of Russian propaganda. “Normally, we consider right-wing extremism to be dangerous, something that can lead to war,” Umland said. But in Ukraine, it is the other way around, he argued. The war had led to the rise and transformation of marginal comradeships into a political movement. But their influence on society is overrated, he said. For most Ukrainians, they are combatants fighting an overbearing aggressor. Umland’s argument appears to be little more than a variation of the British meme that one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter.

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