At the start of the recent war in Ukraine ‘western’ media changed their mind about Ukrainian Nazi groups. What they had condemned over years in their headlines and pieces was first whitewashed and when was not enough simply eliminated from the context. As example I had pointed to the changing headlines and descriptions of the fascist Azov militia in the pages of the New York Times.
On his flak jacket was a symbol commonly used by the Azov Battalion, a Ukrainian neo-Nazi paramilitary organization.
Defenders of the Ukrainian Azov Battalion, which the F.B.I. calls “a paramilitary unit” notorious for its “association with neo-Nazi ideology,” accuse us of being part of a Kremlin campaign to “demonize” the group.
Facebook last week said it was making an exception to its anti-extremism policies to allow praise for Ukraine’s far-right Azov Battalion military unit, “strictly in the context of defending Ukraine, or in their role as part of the Ukraine National Guard.”
These scenes are from videos shared online in recent days by the Azov regiment, a unit in the Ukrainian military, which says they were taken in the mazelike bunkers beneath the sprawling Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol, Ukraine.
As I had written previously:
What was once “a Ukrainian neo-Nazi paramilitary organization” which even the FBI said is notorious for its “association with neo-Nazi ideology” was first relabeled as merely “far right” before it became a normal “unit in the Ukrainian military”.
In yesterday’s report about some dubious Ukrainian military success near Bakhmut the Times has taken its next step which is to avoid mentioning Azov at all:
Videos released on Friday by Ukraine’s 3rd Separate Assault Brigade showed soldiers piling out of armored personnel carriers and assaulting a Russian trench. “Forward, forward!” a soldier yelled in the video, filmed on a helmet camera. The soldiers dived for cover as Russian fighters threw a hand grenade, then ran forward and threw their own grenade into a Russian bunker. The video could not be independently verified.
When one throws “Ukraine’s 3rd Separate Assault Brigade” into a web search engine one is likely to be pointed to Wikipedia which then reveals the complete name of that military unit:
The 3rd Separate Assault Brigade Azov (Ukrainian: 3-тя окрема штурмова бригада Азов) is a brigade of the Ukrainian Ground Forces formed in 2022. …
The brigade, which was established in November 2022, emerged from the Azov Special Operations Forces (SSO) and initially comprised veterans of the Azov Regiment. Since than its a fully operational combat unit within the Ukrainian Ground Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
During the war Azov has grown through active recruiting from “the Azov Battalion, a Ukrainian neo-Nazi paramilitary organization” into the Azov Regiment and, after losing in Mariupol, into a brigade size unit.