Regiment “Azov”. Between the swastika and the dream of freedom

A group of heavily armed guys in the English camp form is on clay shaft and gazes at the overgrown weed fields that stretch for miles down to the beaches of the Azov sea. The military team is here for expanded diagram. Those who have the Kalashnikov, no mufflers, from the gun barrel with flame left the barking of machine guns interrupted by a frightening roar of a heavy machine gun.

But here, at the site 60 kilometres from the front line separating Ukraine from Russia, bullets flying in one direction only. “It was a good idea, but you should synchronize” — screams to his subordinates in half an hour, when the exercises end, kirk, stocky man, aged 40 in cheap British camouflage, which, however, can withstand longer than the Ukrainian form of allowances.

Kirk is the commander of the Azov regiment, division, legendary, fighting against Pro-Russian separatists since the spring of 2014, when the fighting in Eastern Ukraine had just erupted. It happened after months of peaceful protest in Kiev has led to bloody clashes with the violent and corrupt government of Viktor Yanukovich fell. However, this Pro-Western “revolution of dignity”, as they call it among themselves participants in the events, not like most of the population of the East of the country. Putin’s Russia cleverly intervened, and in March 2014 after a lightning-fast operation, it was annexed to the strategically important Crimea. However, in other regions of Ukraine the swift annexation did not happen. Due to the massive military and material support of Russian separatists took control of Donetsk and Luhansk, but their dreams of the mythical new Russia, which dismembered the Ukraine, and has not been implemented. Pro-Russian rebels for some time kept the port of Mariupol, but in the summer of 2014 they drove out the soldiers of the battalion “Azov”. In the fall, with the merits and martial successes, he re-formed the regiment and then incorporated into the National guard of Ukraine. It is highly likely that only through the “Azov”, “Aydar” and other volunteer units Ukraine has not lost much more than one eighth of its territory.

Today, the fighters of “Azov” is stationed far behind the front line, and not officially eligible to participate in the armed clashes which over time turned into a debilitating frozen conflict. And kirk and all of his subordinates a sense of disappointment. In General, on the basis of “Azov” in the village Urzuf it is everywhere, as ubiquitous and colorful flower patterns which painted a high white wall of the barracks.

Fu liberals

Before “Azov” staged here a fortified base, this place was a summer beach residence of ousted President Viktor Yanukovych. Now, around here hang portraits of the brave Cossacks with their heads shaved, funny moustaches and swords in their hands. But, most importantly, everywhere — Wolfsangel, distinguishing mark of the regiment “Azov”. This logo adorns the sleeve of Kirk and commander of all his soldiers. In the regiment there are about a thousand, and about ten percent of them are foreigners, often convinced Nazis. But now I have a team. “We train regularly and a lot, because we are the elite of the Ukrainian army,” — says the bearded Gandalf, the best shooter in the group. He, like all soldiers on both sides of the front, there is a nickname. First, for conspiracy, and secondly, to accentuate their uniqueness. To shout to someone in the battle: “Sasha!” — when they are in the trenches with five others uncomfortable. On your armor Gandalf wears patches on Velcro: the guy with the flayed skin (a scene from “Game of thrones”) and the sign of the Nazi troopers. On the question of Nazi symbolism is Gandalf just laughing and finished with the explanation that before the war he and his friend took part in the reenactment of the battles of the Second world war. On the German side.

But Veda (28-year-old beauty with hair to her waist, makeup, gel overlay nails and long legs in slim camo pants) guards. She follows me around with his head years 30 Nikopol. They both graduated from the journalism faculty, now working in the press service of “Azov”. And one of their main tasks — not to give me to find out what “basics” are so often accused, and not to allow me to published information on the neo-Nazi underpinnings of the unit.

After all, Wolfsangel — a sign not only of “Azov”: once it was a sign of freedom and independence, and then it was the emblem of the SS division “Das Reich”. But this symbolism Nikopol rejects. “It’s only two letters N and I, that is, the “national idea””, — it eludes from the historical Parallels, and see how him unpleasant journalistic nitpicking.

My escort is hard for me to follow. “I don’t believe in any of the Holocaust — all this chatter” — it tells me about their beliefs Gandalf, while several of his associates cleans the machine gun DSHKM from the combustion products. One of the fighters spotted wearing a camouflage cloak, a replica of an SS uniform. “It remained from our pre-war games” — says the bearded man, when we enter in tent barracks to his comrades.

A red-hot stove turned plain dwelling almost in the sauna — guys sitting on their beds in shorts. My attention is drawn to the young man in the darkest corner. On his left breast tattooed a huge swastika, and on the right is a Grenadier of the SS in battle. Like everything this guy says in Russian and not in Ukrainian. It is a little absurd, but, despite the obvious nationalism, the main language of communication in “Azov” is Russian, not Ukrainian. It does not feel hatred directly to Russia itself, and most here hate everything Soviet and everything liberal. And blue, lesbians and, as I say, of color, foreigners, HIV, Arabs and the current Ukrainian leadership, which, according to the fighters, mired in corruption and incapable to fight for his people. Tangible and hatred of the oligarchs, Russian President Putin and Ukrainian President Poroshenko.

The Hitler’s birthday

While my oversight of the censor Veda enjoys the attention of half-naked sweaty muscular men, I can talk to this one guy a few words. 20-year-old Oleg — Russian volunteer who fled from Putin, from Siberia to Ukraine. “I’m never coming home: I was going to jail forever. I want to go further — to Europe.” “But it’s not the best pass,” I say and nod to his Nazi tattoos. “I had them reduced. Advise how best to get to Prague”. The question I leave unanswered, and I asked further: “Well, yesterday you were celebrating?” He had a long and looking at me nervously with the air of a conspirator, blinking, as if his eyelids together in pain. Yesterday was 20 April — the birthday of Adolf Hitler. But here I was calling my wonderful supervisor, asking what I was doing there. They say, we have to leave, and I barely have time to say goodbye to Oleg.

In the office of commander Kirk on the walls are stylized plywood panels with the names of his fallen comrades. On the table in front of him stands the statue of the wheel — pagan Slavic symbol. Behind on the wall hangs a German Mauser of world war II. “We were shooting in SHIROKANE”, — says kirk is one of the last battles in which the people participated.

Shirokino did not get the separatists. Unlike regular Ukrainian army, on account of which quite defeats, “Azov” knows how to win. “The Ukrainian command must appreciate us, not to put a spoke in the wheel”, — the commander complains about the alleged paradoxical situation, when his strong guys (many of them came in “Azov” from the ranks of the wild football fans) are prohibited from participating in the fighting.

A year and a half ago, the command of the Ukrainian army withdrew “Azov” fighting positions. The immediate reason, though never officially, and not articulated, was that the volunteer corps are completely out of control. They fought bravely, but they are increasingly accused of war crimes, looting and violence against civilians. Kirk is outraged: “a Few slaps and a few kicks — all, and nothing more. I can vouch for their people. But how do you know the terrorist in civilian? Today the Snitch with mobile in hand, which induces mortar fire, worse than the soldier who shoots at you from a machine.” Some of his soldiers have complained that the rear is completely powerless against the separatists. They bitterly wondered: how is it possible that the store ten kilometers from the front line you meet a guy, who at night are fighting against them, and kill him on the spot they can’t.

Most importantly, they know how to fight

Minsk peace agreement on the basis of which the war in the East of Ukraine should stop the “scratch” is considered a cowardly betrayal of the Motherland. “This is our land, which criminals stole from us, and we will never give up”, and answer me kirk on the question of whether he and his people in the future to comply with the peace agreement.

Kirk wondered what ideology of his people. “I need you to explain that we in the East the cult of Hitler had a very different meaning. I bet a lot of guys that make a tattoo of a swastika, know almost nothing from the Third Reich. It’s just anti-system styling. In this Europe, you should know that these tattoos were common among Soviet inmates. Hitler and the swastika is only an expression of rejection of the Bolshevik establishment that has brainwashed us. I’m only interested in one thing: can these guys fight for our country? They are capable of, and I guarantee it”.

The fact that in “Azov” I met a lot of young people, who on Hitler’s Nazism’t care. But not to mention those who openly declare their commitment to him, and, worse, their commanders are looking the other way. This is despite the fact that because of such facts at the very beginning of the conflict, seized on Russian propaganda, which presents the events in Ukraine as a fascist coup, and the Ukrainian army as cruel Nazis. Thus, Russian propaganda has successfully played on the most sacred for the Russian. In the Soviet Union, generation after generation in the head was hammered, that world war II was a conflict of diabolical Nazi peace-loving Soviet Union of Stalin. The modern Russian state propaganda continues this “tradition” is, however, rusifitsirovan. The terrible sacrifices and the heroic victory in the great Patriotic war are colorfully depicted and are attributed solely to the great Russian people, although the war as a brutal Communist repression, inflicted the greatest damage to Ukraine and Belarus.

How, then, to talk about the Nazis from “Azov” and it does not become a useful idiot for Kremlin propagandists? You need to place them in the context of this crazy conflict.

I feel like I’m already somewhere met these guys.

Russian fools

Donetsk, Petrovsky district, September 2014. The spring occupation of the Crimea and the fighting in the Donbass, I saw with my own eyes. The fall and winter of 2014 I spent in Donetsk, separatist battalion “Svarog”. I then sympathized with his commander of the Jew’s Harp. Along the wolf’s hook on his sleeve sported a badge with the sign of the wheel and a red five-pointed star. The rest of the Harp looked like the twin brother of the Azov commander Kirk: a small, stocky, bright-eyed and full of energy and determination.

Jew’s harp — a former taxi driver and the leader of the local neo-pagan society, a lover of ancient Slavic rites and myths. He was one of the first to take up arms and together with other soldiers captured Petrovka, and after a few weeks had command of 700 men, among whom were several Czechs. They came to fight for Russia, unspoiled East and Putin.

It is highly likely that the Jew’s Harp and kirk were shooting each other in the outskirts of Donetsk.

Instead of the helmet of the Jew’s Harp wore a white armband with woven red swastika is an ancient mystical symbol. Harp was convinced that the white man was the pinnacle of evolution, and that gives him the right to decide the fate of the world. And the pinnacle of the white race, the Jew’s Harp is a great slave, that is Russian. Since Jesus Christ was Russian. Because once upon a time, in the times of Atlantis, the Russian Empire stretched from London across the Red sea up to Japan. Therefore, our Slavic sacred duty to fight to make again soon it all back.

In line behind the barracks, which was located in the building of the old Soviet miner school Harp and his men built a temple with totems, where they held fire rituals, offered sacrifices and prayed to the ancient gods. For the victory of Russia and with Kalashnikovs in their hands. At night they traveled on the Donetsk outskirts and arrested those who violated curfew. Drunks and drug addicts Harp punished. Rumor has it that a few he killed with a hammer. Girls he did cooks or snipers or just take them to him…

While in Donetsk there were many armed to the teeth, dreamers, who often were under the influence of the Holy fool ideologue Alexander Dugin, Putin’s support. In addition to “Svarog” was, for example, groups of the Russian Orthodox army, the group “Rusich” and “Ratibor”. For merits in front of the Donetsk people’s Republic Harp received the award. After six months for personal accounts, he was arrested by order of the head of the breakaway Republic Zakharchenko, and finally, after several years of trials he was imprisoned for life. For robberies, illegal executions and rape.

Voice, power, and national nonsense his people externally subsided. Now they do not say, as once that, in spite of the contempt of all non-Slavic, they have great respect for Adolf Hitler because few were able to deal with the Jews…

But, of course, in the news on Russian state television about anything such was not even mentioned. The Russian public needs to believe that on Donbass the unfolding struggle of the Russian people with brutal, this time Ukrainian Nazism.

You humanists

The speaker of the Ukrainian shelf “Azov” Nikopol and his sophisticated colleague escorted me to the gate of the base. Nicopolis frustrated, he realizes that he didn’t know me.

“You shouldn’t write about this because thus only will help Russia and hurt us and all over Ukraine. What do you want in Europe? You, illustrious humanists and liberals, you sit on your ass and talk. You will never go fight for us. Without these guys that you turn up his nose because of their stupid tattoos and a few icons, Putin would have been you in Prague or in Brussels.”

Prior to that, Nikopol demanded my camera and erased almost a quarter of all the photos I made during the time spent on the basis of “Azov”. More precisely — from 198 853. He erased all the pictures where there were some Nazi symbols, about which it is impossible to say.