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Zelenskyy Honors Fascist Azov Leaders with Regime’s Highest Award

Oct. 5, 2022 (EIRNS)—Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy instructed Andriy Yermak, the head of the Office of the President, to go to Turkey and present the “Hero of Ukraine,” the regime’s highest award, to each of the three Azov leaders of the battle in Mariupol and two others who participated in the fight to hold onto the city’s Azovstal steel plant, using hundreds of Ukrainian civilians as their human shields. The leader of the pack, according to Ukraine’s Office of the President’s website, was “Commander of the ‘Azov’ separate special purpose regiment of the National Guard Denys Prokopenko (call sign Redis).” His wife was a feature of the recent delegation to Washington, to meet with various members of Congress.

The Azov forces, so heroized by President Zelenskyy, was founded as an avowed Nazi force, its leadership and ranks filled with followers of Stepan Bandera, who collaborated with the Waffen SS during World War II in murdering tens of thousands of Jews, Gypsies, Poles and Romanians. Their fighters are famous for their Hitler salutes, covered with swastika and Satanic tattoos, and in a saner time, the U.S. Congress had banned any U.S. funding to these Azov “heroes” because of their openly fascist nature.

Two of Prokopenko’s Azov underlings—his deputy Svyatoslav Palamar and the senior officer of “Azov,” Oleg Khomenko—along with two non-Azov defenders at the Azovstal plant in Mariupol—the acting commander of the 36th separate brigade of Marines Serhiy Volynskyi (call sign Volyna) and commander of the 12th brigade of the National Guard Denys Shlega—was similarly honored. These are the five who, in the recent prisoner exchange, were released on condition that Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan keep them in Turkey for the duration of the fighting.

Yermak told Prokopenko: “The units you led made an invaluable contribution to the future victory of Ukraine. You and your subordinates managed to bind the enormous forces of the enemy.... You won time, and this time was not wasted. And now we are returning our territories and our people. Ukraine will be free and united.” Zelenskyy joined in by video, celebrating and embracing the central role of the Azov: “You are not just heroes, you are living heroes, and that is very important.... I am proud that we live in the same country, fight for it together and will definitely win. Glory to Ukraine!”

Azov deputy commander Svyatoslav Palamar enthusiastically joined in: “This is the award of our Ukrainian people. I am very proud to be Ukrainian. This is the coolest nation in the world! And the coolest government and the coolest military.” Then the five defenders of “Azovstal” jointly signed a Ukrainian flag for Zelenskyy, inscribed: “There is no glory without a fight.”

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