Rferl has published an article about this right-wing group seeking to expand into Western Europe and the US, and its political wing, the National Corps.  Despite supplying arms and training to Ukraine, the US has banned arms from going to Azov members and forbidden them from participating in US-led military training because of their far-right ideology.  The Azov Battalion was formed in May 2014 in response to the Russia-backed separatist advance sweeping across eastern Ukraine. Comprised of volunteers, it has roots in a group of hard-core, far-right soccer fans, including many violent hooligans, commonly known in Eastern Europe as “ultras”.  After the 2015 Minsk Accord peace deal, the Azov Battalion was officially incorporated into Ukraine’s National Guard and its leadership shifted focus from the battlefield to the political arena.  The Azov National Corps entered the political fray in October 2016 and incorporated 2 other far-right organisations.  In recent months Azov members have taken advantage of that, making several visits to EU countries to meet numerous European counterparts.  The FBI had apparently alleged that Azov was “training and radicalising” American far-right groups.

Author: raytodd2017

Chartered Legal Executive and former senior manager with Isle of Man Customs and Excise, where I was (amongst other things) Sanctions Officer (for UN/EU sanctions), Export Licensing Officer and Manager of the Legal-Library & Collectorate Support Section

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