While the Trump Administration has fought to keep nationals of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen from traveling to the US for fear they are terrorists, white supremacists who vow violence in this country go and come freely to Ukraine, where they train with the neo-Nazi Azov Battalion militia.
The US government has directly funded the Azov Battalion, which began as a volunteer militia but has now been officially assimilated into Ukraine’s national guard as a “contract” unit.
A federal, criminal conspiracy and rioting complaint filed in Los Angeles in 2018 includes an affidavit stating four American white supremacists from the Rise Above Movement (RAM) trained with Ukraine’s Azov Battalion. The training took place after the white supremacist gang participated in violent riots in Huntington Beach and Berkeley, CA, and Charlottesville, VA in 2017.
“Currently the organizations that are fascist are stronger in Ukraine than in any other country in the world,” said Ivan Katchanovski, a professor of political science at the University of Ottawa.
In March 2018, Congress banned the arming of the Azov Battalion as they openly revealed their neo-Nazi principles. While this discontinued the direct funding of the Battalion, the US still helps to arm the Ukrainian military.
The Battalion started with about 300 members in 2014, and two years later it had grown to as many as 10,000 and threatened to overthrow the country if the government did not fall in line with their agenda.
Max Blumenthal, “An Inside Look at How US-Funded Fascists in Ukraine Mentor US White Supremacists,” Mint Press News, November 15, 2018, https://www.mintpressnews.com/us-backed-fascist-azov-battalion-in-ukraine-is-training-and-radicalizing-american-white-supremacists/251951/.
Rebecca Kheel, “Congress Bans Arms to Ukraine Militia Linked to Neo-Nazis,” The Hill, March 27, 2018, https://thehill.com/policy/defense/380483-congress-bans-arms-to-controversial-ukrainian-militia-linked-to-neo-nazis.
Student Researcher: Tanner J. Swann (Indian River State College)
Faculty Evaluator: Elliot D. Cohen (Indian River State College)