Comment of the Embassy of Ukraine on the article in the Guardian “Neo-Nazi groups recruit Britons to fight in Ukraine” published on March 2, 2018
Having read the article one’s mind gets so scrambled that it is no longer possible to grasp the author’s main idea.
Over the four years, Ukraine alongside with the international community has been facing Russia’s armed and hybrid threats and aggression, which have acquired the forms of manipulation of public opinion, misrepresentation of information, intentional spread of disinformation not only with regard to Ukraine, but also concerning other democratic states.
In this regard Mr.Rawlinson plays in favor of the Russian slogan about a “war-torn” Ukraine.
The term “war-torn Ukraine” is not accurate. There is a military conflict raging in the East of Ukraine that has been instigated and fueled by Russia. Mr.Rawlinson surprisingly (or not) forgets to mention this circumstance.
On the substance of allegations, we would like to state that the initial volunteer battalion Azov in November 2014 became the military Regiment Azov of the National Guard of Ukraine. As a regular military unit of the Ukrainian Security Forces, “Azov” has no official ideology and does not affiliate itself with any particular political party or movement. The Regiment is under command of the Ukrainian Security Forces.
At the same time, it is commonly known that there exists the neo-Nazi pro-Russian paramilitary group “Misanthropic Division Novorossia”, which has its own page on the Russian social network "VKontakte" and is entirely controlled by the Russian security services (https://vk.com/misanthropicdivisionnovorossia). Members of this formation are committing acts of terrorism and sabotage in Eastern Ukraine being a part of pro-Russian terrorist forces there and are organized as a terrorist combat unit “Rusich”.
On their web page and social networks members of “Misanthropic Division Novorossia” and the terrorist group “Rusich” broadcast tortures and mockery of the captured Ukrainian soldiers, particularly from the Regiment Azov, and call for genocide against Ukrainians and a war against Jews, Americans and all those whom they consider “Russia’s enemies”.
We strongly believe that without a comprehensive and impartial investigation, publication of unconfirmed information on allegedly “Ukrainian origin” of the neo-Nazi paramilitary group “Misanthropic Division”, its affiliation with the Regiment Azov and recruitment of neo-Nazi elements for this military regiment is irresponsible step.
And finally, it seems that Mr. Rawlinson experienced a lack of material for his article and therefore felt compelled to concoct a bizarre mix of the conflict in Donbas, fascist rhetoric, UK politics, UK-terrorism related threats and the growth of intolerance across the UK and Europe – all thrown into the same bowl. Otherwise, we are led to believe that the real aim of this publication was to play into the hands of the Russian propaganda, which incidentally has rushed to copy-paste it in its outlets.