Analytical article

Too Much Ado About Ukrainian Nationalists: the Azov Movement and the War in Ukraine

Year:

2022

Published in:

Krytyka

Authors:

Ukrainian nationalism
Azov movement
Azov Battalion
far-right militia
neo-Nazi ideology

Vladimir Putin has been stubbornly insisting that Russian forces are invading Ukraine to “de-nazify” the country. Many Westerners are understandably startled since Ukraine’s president is a democratically elected official who lost family members in the Holocaust. The Highest rabbi of Ukraine wondered whether the denazification targets the Ukrainian president or the head of political opposition both of Jewish descent. Moreover, a professional community of scholars of genocide and Nazism adamantly opposed to “equation of the Ukrainian state with the Nazi regime.” Putin, however, is twisting reality because he has some evidence under his belt. He is primarily referring to the Azov movement—a Ukrainian militia-cum-political movement that arose in 2014. In the Kremlin’s depiction, Azov is a Nazi gang that holds sway over the Ukrainian government and is intent on harming Russian-speaking civilians. Putin is not alone in condemning Azov. In 2018, the U.S. Congress banned arms provision to Azov, citing its neo-Nazi ideology. While the Azov movement finds its roots on the white supremacist right, the Azov phenomenon has evolved in more complex ways since its founding. The movement emerged in 2014 and has gone through a notable transformation, which significantly changed its nature and its ideological basis. As a Ukrainian scholar who has studied Ukrainian nationalism in general and the Azov movement, I thought it is important that I explain exactly who they are and what they are doing to external audiences.Vladimir Putin has been stubbornly insisting that Russian forces are invading Ukraine to “de-nazify” the country. Many Westerners are understandably startled since Ukraine’s president is a democratically elected official who lost family members in the Holocaust. The Highest rabbi of Ukraine wondered whether the denazification targets the Ukrainian president or the head of political opposition both of Jewish descent. Moreover, a professional community of scholars of genocide and Nazism adamantly opposed to “equation of the Ukrainian state with the Nazi regime.” Putin, however, is twisting reality because he has some evidence under his belt. He is primarily referring to the Azov movement—a Ukrainian militia-cum-political movement that arose in 2014. In the Kremlin’s depiction, Azov is a Nazi gang that holds sway over the Ukrainian government and is intent on harming Russian-speaking civilians. Putin is not alone in condemning Azov. In 2018, the U.S. Congress banned arms provision to Azov, citing its neo-Nazi ideology. While the Azov movement finds its roots on the white supremacist right, the Azov phenomenon has evolved in more complex ways since its founding. The movement emerged in 2014 and has gone through a notable transformation, which significantly changed its nature and its ideological basis. As a Ukrainian scholar who has studied Ukrainian nationalism in general and the Azov movement, I thought it is important that I explain exactly who they are and what they are doing to external audiences.

Related by autor

25 publications found

2019
Journal article

Black Sun Rising: Political Opportunity Structure Perceptions and Institutionalization of the Azov Movement in Post-Euromaidan Ukraine

Publisher: Cambridge University Pres

Authors: Ivan Gomza, Johann Zajaczkowski

2021
Book

Республіка Занепаду. Ідеологія Французького Інтеґрального Націоналізму за Третьої Республіки

Publisher: Krytyka

Authors: Ivan Gomza

2022
Journal article

The War in Ukraine: Putin's Inevitable Invasion

Publisher: Journal of Democracy

Authors: Ivan Gomza

2015
Journal article

Elusive Proteus: A Study in the Ideological Morphology of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists

Publisher: Journal of Soviet and Post-Soviet Politics and Society

Authors: Ivan Gomza

2022
Analytical article

La Société Civile Ukrainienne Pendant la Guerre : la force des « Liens Faibles »

Publisher: Les Dossiers du CER

Authors: Ivan Gomza

2019
Analytical article

Ukraine Rides High While COVID-19 Lays Neighbors Low: But for How Long?

Publisher: Ponars Eurasia

Authors: Ivan Gomza

2018
Book

Суспільно-Політичні Рухи: Навчальний Посібник

Publisher: Kyiv-Mohyla University Press

Authors: Ivan Gomza

2020
Journal article

Pandemic Politics in Eurasia: Roadmap for a New Research Subfield

Publisher: Problems of Post-Communism

Authors: Ivan Gomza, Marlene Laruelle, Mikhail Alexseev, Cynthia Buckley, Ralph S. Clem, J. Paul Goode, Henry E. Hale, Erik Herron, Andrey Makarychev, Madeline McCann, Mariya Omelicheva, Gulnaz Sharafutdinova, Regina Smyth, Sarah Wilson Sokhey, Mikhail Troitskiy, Joshua A. Tucker, Judyth Twigg, Elizabeth Wishnick

2022
Journal article

Das Asow-Regiment und die russische Invasion

Publisher: Ukraine-Analysen

Authors: Ivan Gomza

2022
Analytical article

How to Hide an Empire: Naming and Nature of Russo-Ukrainian War

Publisher: Krytyka

Authors: Ivan Gomza