Western media has dismissed evidence of neo-Nazi influence in Ukraine by citing President Zelensky’s Jewish heritage. But new footage published by Zelensky shows the leader openly collaborating with a fascist ideologue who once pledged to “lead the white races of the world in a final crusade…against Semite-led Untermenschen.”
Ukrainian President Vlodymyr Zelensky has uploaded a video to his Telegram channel showing him holding court with one of the most notorious neo-Nazis in modern Ukrainian history: Azov Battalion founder Andriy Biletsky.
On August 14, just over an hour after Secretary of State Anthony Blinken announced another $200 million in military aid to Kiev, Ukrainian President Vlodomyr Zelensky published the video depicting what he called an “open conversation” with Ukraine’s 3rd Separate Assault Brigade.
“I am grateful to everyone who defends our country and people, who brings our victory closer,” Zelensky wrote, following his encounter with the unit on the outskirts of Bakhmut.
While casual Western observers might not have realized it, the brigade Zelensky was addressing is actually the newest iteration of Ukraine’s neo-Nazi Azov Battalion.
“The 3rd separate assault brigade, excellent fighters,” Zelensky wrote days after the consultation, in a Twitter post which also alluded to a separate meeting with the Aidar Battalion, another neo-fascist outfit that has been accused of war crimes by Amnesty International. “They have stopped the enemy from advancing towards Kostiantynivka and pushed the occupiers back up to 8 kilometers.”
But the group’s origins are no secret. Describing their most recent rebrand in a YouTube video released in January, the unit explained: “Today we officially announce that the SSO AZOV is expanding to a brigade. From now on, we are the 3rd separate assault brigade of the Ground Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.”
Like its predecessor, the unit is led by Andriy Biletsky, who founded the Azov Battalion and has long served as a figurehead for the closely-aligned National Corps political movement.
But in spite of Biletsky’s rich Nazi pedigree, the video Zelensky published shows him sharing a moment of bonhomie with a white nationalist militant who has described Jews as “our enemy,” or as the “real masters” of the oligarchs and craven politicians that have corrupted Ukraine.
“How could I be a Nazi?” Zelensky asked on the eve of Russia’s invasion, pointing to his Jewish heritage. “How could a people who lost eight million lives fighting Nazis support Nazism?”
Perhaps the question needs to be asked again of the Ukrainian president following the tribute he paid to his country’s top neo-Nazi ideologue.
Zelensky publishes a video of his visit to Biletsky, the leader of Azov neo-Nazis who said that the Ukrainian nation’s mission is to “lead the white races of the world in a final crusade…against Semite-led Untermenschen” and thanks them for defending 🇺🇦https://t.co/xQXqqKcxsg pic.twitter.com/E53ETomQab
— Voxkomm (@Voxkomm) August 14, 2023
Ukraine’s Jewish leader meets “The White Leader”
Since Russia’s military operations in Ukraine kicked off in 2022, Biletsky had taken pains to distance himself from his fascist past. He now claims that an infamous promise he made to rid the world of “Semite-led untermenschen” was actually fabricated by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.
But Biletsky’s most notorious screed against Jews was not an isolated outburst. Indeed, his record of Nazi-inspired tirades is extensive, and has been a matter of public record for decades….