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  • Ukrainian Neo-Nazis rally in Kiev (Photo: Reuters).

    Ukrainian Neo-Nazis rally in Kiev (Photo: Reuters).

Published 14 August 2014

One group captured a village and flew Nazi like flag

Against the backdrop of growing tensions between Kiev and Moscow, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has criticized Western governments for their sustained support of the Ukrainian government, which he claims is being supported by far-right neo-nazi movements.

The claims of far-right involvement appeared to be backed up by press reports on Tuesday in The New York Times that a neo-Nazi militia, Azov, took control of the village of Marinka and flew a flag with a Swastika-like symbol.

Whilst earlier this week, The Daily Telelgraph’s Tom Parfitt admitted that “the western-backed government in Kiev is throwing militia groups – some openly neo-Nazi - into the front of the battle”.

Lavrov has spoken of the far-right involvement before, when the Euromaidan protests escalated into violence in January, where he said a key role was played by far-right political movements such as the Svoboda party.

The rise of extreme nationalist groups, inspired by figures such as Stepan Bandera – Ukrainian Nazi-colaborator who has been convicted of acts of ethnic cleansing – has increased since the ousting of President Yanukovich.

Since then, the increasing fighting against eastern rebels has led to the creation of pro-Kiev paramilitary units. 
Dmitry Yarosh, leader of the ultra-nationalist Right Sector movement, announced last month the creation of paramilitary unit whose aim would be to help the Ukrainian army to crush the rebels in the east.

A similar stance was taken by Oleh Lyashko, founder of the Radical Party. He has become increasingly popular by making raids into the east with his own paramilitary group, stripping captives to their underwear, putting bags on their heads, and lecturing them on camera over treason against the nation.

Kiev has continuously denied the situation, but Moscow is urging the United States and the European Union to re-evaluate their support to the Ukrainian army.


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