It’s in the news all the time at the moment: the Russian attack on the Ukrainian city of Mariupol.
The violence. The atrocities. The possibility of Putin using chemical and biological weapons.
But do you know why Mariupol is so important to the Russian president? It may have gone past you because the BBC (to name just one news provider) certainly doesn’t include it in its reports, even though it should. Withholding this one fact shows a shocking bias.
Mariupol is the home base of the Nazi Azov Battalion.
Putin has made it clear that he intends to “de-Nazify” Ukraine, whose president, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, has publicly taken offence to the suggestion.
But Zelenskyy has absorbed the Azov Battalion into his armed forces (it became part of the Ukrainian National Guard in 2014 and Zelenskyy has done nothing to remove it).
You can read a large amount of detail about these Nazis here. It includes details of the Azov Battalion’s many incursions into the Donbas region to attack separatists there who wish to secede from Ukraine – and of war crimes committed by its members.
No legitimate and responsible national government would ever allow creatures like this to act for it. But Zelenskyy has.
I’m not saying that Russia is right to invade Ukraine, and anyone making such a claim will get the response they deserve.
It would also be wrong to portray Ukraine as valiant heroes fighting a ruthless oppressor when Ukraine numbers these Nazis among its armed forces.
This conflict must not be seen in black and white, “heroes against villains”, terms.
In this matter, Putin has a very good point.
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Interesting news in the rumour world is that Poland is seeking to carve out a part of Ukraine for itself then declare it as a so called no fly zone. Lyov seems to be the prize they’ve after. It wouldn’t surprise me given that Poland is ruled by a mad right wing Conservative government with ambitions as a Greater Poland. The dogs are fighting over the bones.
Thhis war would not have been necessary if the US had not desired it and done everything to promote it.
Thanks for the sane observations.
‘Ukraine does not recognise civilians in Mariupol as its own, and therefore the nationalists either hide behind them or shoot them, head of the Novoazovsk city hospital, told reporters in a commentary on March 23rd’. Nazis-Nationalists-Conservatives form the government of Ukraine. The President of Ukraine has banned all opposition parties.
It makes things very hard to discuss, the opinions are too polarised, Russian propaganda has infected many previously anti war types and a balanced view is hard to find
I am puzzled by that article Mike. There has been loads of news/current affairs comment about the AZOV battalion and as a percentage I suspect it has no more neo-nazis in its ranks that the Metropolitan police.
It is brazenly, defiantly Nazi – just look at its flag. As for the amount of news/current affairs about it – has it made the connection between Azov and Mariupol? Why isn’t ever news report about Mariupol making that connection, so people can see what this particular part of the war is all about?
Mike there are 900 troops in the Azov less than 20% are thought to be neo-nazis.
Did you actually bother to check for connections between AZOV and Mariupol, because there has been widespread reporting about it.
I am puzzled as to why you are bothered anyway.
Yes I did, Tony. That’s why I wrote the article.
Feel free to have a different opinion, by all means.
And yet so many people I speak to online about it are shocked and outraged that I dare to point it, crying, “How dare you suggest Zelensky has Nazi allies, when his parents were killed in the Holocaust…” etc. They still seem completely, even reflexively, unaware in the current Russophobic hysteria.
I have seen almost no discussion of Azov in the mainstream media, and certainly none of it has been made prominent.
I look forward to receiving news of the political world from Mike Sivier. He has it right on the Labour Party and the Tories. He writes in a various way on the war in Ukraine which is always a sign of honesty, right or wrong, those whose comments are identical with the news media-state in UK begrudge us even these small spaces of doubt. The government in London is the enemy of the people so its tears of sympathy for the people of Ukraine doesn’t ring true. The national newspaper press conducts the local press choir in every town and city and village of the country. It’s an identical output which cannot be accidental and isn’t. You can only act in such remarkable unison if you have concentrated ownership of the national/local newspaper press. Russia has gone East in a month. It is lost to Europe. There are some real global battles going on here behind the scenes of this dreadful war. I hope above all else that US takes the drubbing it has deserved for decades. It is ruled by evil people.
Even if this is true, it doesn’t by any means justify Russia attacking and attempting to invade Ukraine, bombing civilian areas, and so on.
If Putin had really wanted to eliminate the Nazis in Azov, he would have gone in with a few plain-clothes people and taken them out quietly, instead of sending a convoy of tanks to Kyiv. The “denazification” is just an excuse. Putin wants his SSR back.