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Examining the Threat of the Azov Movement in Ukraine | Geohistory |

The Azov movement has gained in reputation and power, not only in their home country of Ukraine, but across the world. The group, which began as a volunteer paramilitary organization, has evolved and expanded since its conception. Now an integrated part of Ukraine's formal military forces, its leaders are currently active in local and national politics. Although they have been only marginally successful at the polls, they have been very visible in the national discussion of how to form a new, post-Maidan Ukrainian identity through physical protests, online discussion, and active recruiting to their nationalist organizations. Comparing facets of Azov to 20th-century fascism reveals concerning similarities that should not be overlooked, as modern-day fascism and its violence could pose a threat to the current Ukrainian government's efforts to establish itself as a democratic, European state.

The Azov Battalion began after the separatist conflict broke out in eastern Ukraine in 2014 (OpenDemocracy, 2016). The group was created by members of two closely related ultra-nationalist and neo-Nazi organizations: the Social-National Assembly and the Patriot of Ukraine (Miller, 2018), and it quickly gained a reputation for helping the underequipped Ukrainian military forces. Azov eventually became an official regiment in Ukraine's National Guard.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Tue Feb 22nd, 2022 at 09:53:28 PM EST
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