Where Did “Azov” Fight? How Neo-Nazis Were Made Into “Heroes” in Ukraine

NEW – May 31, 2022

The Western and Ukrainian press enthusiastically and breathlessly talks about how legendary and heroic the “Azov” battalion was. These are “our heroic defenders”, “the light of the nation”, “our gene pool” (!)

Andrey Biletsky, head of “Azov“: “These are samurai, Spartans, the most elite combat unit in the world.”

In 2022, the “light of the nation” burned houses and killed civilians in Mariupol, turning the city into ruins.

In 2014-2015, it participated in “punitive operations” in Donbass.

According to the official Ukrainian version, at the same time, the “heroic battalion” became famous for its military exploits in battles. Is it so?

What was the “Azov” then? In 2014-2015, when was the “legend” about the “heroic division” created?


“Azov” – first a battalion, then a regiment – began to form as a military unit in April 2014. Arsen Avakov, who by that time had become the Minister of Internal Affairs, issued a corresponding order. “On the formation of the police on the basis of civil structures”.

Thus, supporters of Euromaidan, football “ultras” and in general everyone who wanted to “shoot vatniks in the east” received a certain state status.

There is also such a version of the “merger of patriots” – Oleg Lyashko, Igor Mosiychuk and Dmitry Korchinsky, together with Automaidan activist Yaroslav Gonchar, got together and decided to unite the “patriots” of Ukraine. This version was voiced by Yaroslav Gonchar, a man who later told a lot about the inner life of the battalion.

This immediately raises questions and associations. These names are Oleg Lyashko and Igor Mosiychuk – firmly connected with the name Rinat Leonidovich Akhmetov. But we’ll come back to that later.


The basis of “Azov” was formed by two nationalist, racist organisations – “Patriot of Ukraine” and “Social-Nationalist Assembly” (SNA), which had long existed in Kharkov.

Young “patriots” in previous years were supported by Kharkov Governor Arsen Avakov. And they defended his or his partners’ business interests (numerous Kharkov “wars against stalls”, or “against development”).

In 2014, SNA leader Andrey Biletsky became the commander of the “Azov” battalion. Deputies are two other leaders of the SNA – Mosiychuk and Odnorozhenko.

SNA has long been in the field of view of analysts and political scientists. And even Western experts described it as “a neo-nazi movement with a totalitarian ideology, advocating the racial purity of Ukraine”.

These theses were voiced by the ideologist of the SNA and one of the future commanders of “Azov” Odnorozhenko: “all foreign ethno-racial groups will be subject to restriction and control, with their subsequent deportation… We consider only the White European race (Homo sapiens) to be a reasonable person… without including ‘southern Europeans’. The Mediterranean, Caucasian, Pamir-Fergana and other races are a different species to us.”

Consequently, it is necessary to exclude any inter-racial contacts, expel migrants, ban private mass media, prohibit marriages “with other biological species”, and so on.

“The historical mission of our nation is to lead the White peoples in the last crusade against Semitic-led subhumanity,” the Patriot of Ukraine program documents tell us.

Chief Biletsky himself believes that modern society needs to get rid of the “speculative capital of Zionists”.

But at the same time, he was financed, in particular, by a Hebrew and a Jew, a Hasidic by religion – Igor Kolomoisky. But there is no contradiction in this.

What the “white leader” says is intended for ordinary “militants”. At the same time, the organisation itself, and especially its leadership, easily uses “Zionist capital”, and “Zionists” use fighters for the purity of the white race for their own purposes. The same thing, as is well known, happened in Germany under Hitler.

But still, “Azov” was too “non-handshake”. It was on the basis of the US Congress report on the neo-nazi views of “Azov” militants that “Azov” did not receive any assistance and funding from the United States in those years. It was described as a “neo-nazi, fascist and anti-semitic” unit.

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One can only imagine how toxic “Azov” looked even then. This is exactly the case when “they were kicked out of the Gestapo for excessive cruelty”.

“‘Extreme right’ gang”

Beatings, tortures, rapes, kidnappings, murders and robberies involving “Azov” militants were recorded by international organisations, including UN Commissioners, Amnesty International and others.

According to Oleg Lyashko, the composition of “Azov” “partially, maybe even half” included people who had a criminal record.

Egregious cases of violence on the part of “Azov” were sufficiently documented. For example, one of the reports describes a case of rape of a mentally ill man by ten “Azov” members. And this is not one such “incident”, but many. And how much is left is not documented.

But it usually ended with an “expression of concern”. In any normal country, criminals would be convicted of these crimes. But not in Ukraine. In Ukraine, this is the “light of the nation”.

The same founder of the battalion, later deputy commander of the battalion Yaroslav Gonchar told the magazine “Reporter. Ukraine” that he was also tortured by his former “fraternal brothers”.

Gonchar reported: “Instead of fighting, the commanders are engaged in pillaging and looting. With me, two trucks with looted property were taken from the dacha of Yanukovych’s wife Lyudmila in the village of Urzuf. I declared the inadmissibility of such actions and support for national socialism. I was tied up and thrown into a basement. They tortured me there. The battalion has turned into a gang, only the extreme right is accepted there. If a person does not adhere to national socialist beliefs, they will not be accepted into ‘Azov’.”

“Heroic” fights

But how did the “defenders of the white race” fight?

In May and June 2014, “Azov “(significantly reinforced by the Ukrainian Armed Forces, for example, a tank company appeared as part of “Azov”) captured Mariupol twice.

On May 9 – when civilians who came out to celebrate Victory Day were killed. The unarmed crowd was shot at and crushed by armoured vehicles. At the same time, policemen in the city’s regional police department were killed, including the head of the city’s traffic police. “Azov” suffered the first losses (one killed, one wounded) in a fight… with the arrived unit of the internal troops of the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

In June 2014, “Azov” returned to Mariupol with the support of the Ukrainian Armed Forces. There were no armies of the DPR and LPR yet, in fact, there was no defence.

The “capture of the city” consisted in the fact that supporters of the DPR were driven out of several buildings.

And of course, there were “heroic” mass punitive actions against civilians.

After that, Mariupol became, in fact, the “city of Azov”, where a regime of terror was established against dissenters.


The first combat losses of the “Azov” occurred near Ilovaisk. According to the official version of those events, during the advance, “Azov” came under sniper fire.

Then they, without completing a single combat mission, simply left the battlefield without permission. They ran all the way to Mariupol, allegedly “to strengthen the defence”. This saved the “heroic defenders” from the cauldron and from serious battles. On August 25, “Azov” fled to Mariupol, and on August 26, the rest of the “defenders” of Ilovaisk were surrounded.

Near Ilovaisk “Azov” lost six people.

During the fighting near Ilovaisk, a member of the “Azov” side, the husband of Rada deputy Tatiana Chernovol was killed. Subsequently, she directly blamed the unit commander for this. Then she blamed the “Tornado” battalion. In 2018, there was a general revelation that Tatiana’s husband was killed by his own people, and not by any snipers at all. It’s a very strange and muddy story.

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This is how “Azov” fought near Ilovaisk. After losing several men to unknown causes, it fled the battlefield.

But they actively received money, equipment (armoured vehicles and artillery were added), and were well supplied with everything necessary.

By the way, analysing what happened, the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine subsequently blamed the volunteer battalions for the Ilovaisk disaster. The reasons for the defeat are “desertion, psychological unpreparedness of personnel, low level of training and discipline”.

On the other hand, the UN High Commissioner expressed bewilderment why the Ukrainian authorities do not investigate egregious cases of torture, murder and human rights violations against the population of Ilovaisk, in particular, by “Azov”.


All those who participated in the massacre of civilians in Mariupol and heroically escaped from Ilovaisk immediately began to call themselves “veterans”. And many began to call themselves so, without leaving anywhere from Kiev.

And of course, “veterans” actively participated in civil actions. They were very loud. They look like nazi “stormtroopers”. Ideology – racism. It was the perfect “private army”.

The so-called “Azov Civil Corps” was created. Its basis, according to Biletsky, was made up of members of the very “Patriot of Ukraine”. It was this “public organisation of veterans” that participated in torchlight processions, attacks on the Russian embassy, numerous rallies, burning effigies of objectionable politicians, and so on.

“Azov” participated in the burning of people in the House of Trade Unions in Odessa.

It was Azov that ensured the demolition of the Lenin monument in Kharkov in September 2014.

Another “direction of activity” of “Azov” is participation in elections. They greatly helped their leader, Andrey Biletsky, be elected as a People’s Deputy by storming into the polling station with weapons during the counting of votes.

They guarded and provided a “heroic picture” for the future deputies of the Rada Oleg Lyashko and Igor Mosiychuk during the elections.

Turchynov’s offensive

In fact, the heroic “Azov” did not participate in any special battles in 14-15 years. At the very least, the word “legendary” was very far from the battalion.

The last fights in 2014-2015 in which “Azov” participated were held near Shirokino. The battalion, together with the Ukrainian Armed Forces and other nationalist formations, was to take Novoazovsk. This was the so-called “Turchynov offensive”.

But that didn’t happen. Instead, for six months, from February to June 2015, there were positional battles for Shirokino.

Why Shirokino? This is an important point for the offensive on Mariupol.

Shirokino became a place from where it was possible to heroically shoot from a mortar, for example, at a village with civilians. It was there that Vita Zaverukha, the most famous nazi in Ukraine, posed. From there, from the “Shirokino heights”, she fired a grenade launcher at the village.

She also took a wonderful “selfie” with a shell on which “Death to the Orthodox” was written.

Zaverukha likes to pose very much. The French magazine “Elle” published her photo and pathetically called her “a modern Joan of Arc”.

Seriously? This inadequate scarecrow who killed people under a nazi flag for nothing?

Modern Nazism

Zaverukha, a graduate of the Vinnytsia Vocational School of the service sector, claims: “I promote Nazism, terror, and genocide.”

Zaverukha was tried for the murder of traffic police inspectors in Bykovna near Kiev in 2014, they were simply shot with a machine gun by participants of Maidan, as part of the group was Vita Zaverukha.

In 2015, a group of them robbed a gas station in Kiev, again with the murder of policemen. Five criminals stole 823 hryvnias (about 2,500 rubles) from a gas station cash desk.

Subsequently, the participants of the crime tried to say that the policemen they shot at point-blank range with a machine gun were “anti-Maidan supporters”.

Well, in Kharkov a few years ago, a father and son, participants of the “anti-terrorist operation”, killed and ate a man. And they also claimed that they were engaged in cannibalism because the victim was “against Maidan”.

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Then Vita gnawed and cut the veins on her arm in the courtroom, and eventually got out on the bail of “Azov”. And she began to speak again with lectures: “We are starting a new crusade. We will send you to hell…”

Daniil Lyashuk, also located there and part of the “Tornado” battalion, abducted and killed civilians of the LPR. Even the then military Prosecutor of Ukraine Anatoly Matios called him “the most dangerous and brutal fighter of the ‘Tornado’ battalion, a regular executioner”. Lyashuk served time in prison from 2017 to 2021 and was released.

And these are only two of those who were convicted (a rare case!) by the Ukrainian authorities themselves. But there are still hundreds of those who continue to be praised.

It seems that the most rabid “nazis” of Ukraine were gathered in the basements of “Azovstal” in the spring of 2022.

But here’s what’s interesting! Those who directed them were not in these basements.

Nor were there those who provided them with excellent uniforms and weapons, fed them, taught them, and motivated them. Encouraged morally and financially.

There were several sources of funding for “Azov” . These are both the Ukrainian authorities and “private investors”.

Let’s see, for example, who helped Vita Zaverukha to be released on bail of 1.6 million hryvnias.

The same person posted a bail of 5.2 million hryvnias for the alleged killer of writer Oles BuzinaPolishchuk.

His name is Aleksey Tamrazov. A theatre expert by training, he worked as one of the managers of Ukrnafta, then of Ukrgasvydobuvannya. Recently, in Ukraine, he was found guilty of giving a bribe to a prosecutor in the amount of $100,000, and was sentenced to 5 years.

Ukrnafta is owned by Igor Kolomoisky. Ukrgasvydobuvannya is a state-owned company that is associated with Firtash‘s name.

One can only guess why, for what purpose and on what instructions the manager of these companies paid millions of bail for the murderers from Maidan.

Surely and obligatorily, the hour will come when all the sponsors of “Azov” will become clear. After all, they did not suddenly receive such material and political opportunities on their own. And such incredible “social elevators”.

Is Ukraine “Azov”?

Below “Azovstal” was not all “Azov”. Yes, the most motivated and the most “stubborn”, but not all of them.

And by the way, where are the leaders of “Azov”? Where is the “white leader” Biletsky now?

“I defend Kiev,” the “Azov” “Fuhrer” sparingly reports about his heroic everyday life.

“We are fighting in the Zaporozhye region,” reports another Azov commander, Maksim Zhorin.

They also, of course, were not under “Azovstal”, but the heroic leaders of “Azov” continue to pathetically threaten.

Maksim Zhorin states:

“There is more than one ‘Azov’ in Ukraine, there are a lot of them all over the country… It’s not just a division, it’s a factor.”

“Today, the whole country is one big ‘Azov’.”

Well, if the whole of Ukraine is a big “Azov”, then what does it look like?

Scott Ritter, an American military analyst, talks about how CNN and other Western media describe “Azov”:

“Not once did they say that they were the most vile people in the world, who killed children, raped women, and committed monstrous atrocities against defenceless civilians. This is the absolute truth about ‘Azov’. They were never brave defenders, they were merciless executioners.”

Of course, not all of Ukraine is one big “Azov”. But there are still enough deceived by “political Banderists“.

They believe the media. And they sculpt heroes from the “Azov” executioners for the sake of momentary opportunistic benefits. And this is the whole truth about “Azov”.

Elena Murzina

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