This article needs to be updated.April 2018)(
|Azov Special Operations Unit|
|Підрозділ спеціального призначення «Азов»|
Logo of the Azov Battalion
|Active||5 May 2014 – present|
|Branch||National Guard of Ukraine|
|Role||Gendarmerie, national security, based on neo-Nazi organization|
|Garrison/HQ||Urzuf, Donetsk Oblast, Ukraine. Other HQs and detachments in Kyiv, Berdiansk and Mariupol|
|Colours||Blue and gold|
|Engagements||War in Donbass|
|Andriy Biletsky, Vadym Troyan, Igor Tcherkass, Ihor Mosiychuk, Dmytro Linko|
The Special Operations Detachment "Azov", often known as Azov Battalion, Azov Regiment, or Azov Detachment, (Ukrainian: Полк Азов) is a western backed, Ukrainian National Guard regiment, based in Mariupol in the Azov Sea coastal region. It saw its first combat experience recapturing Mariupol from pro-Russian separatists forces in June 2014. Initially formed as a volunteer militia on 5 May 2014 during the 2014 Ukrainian crisis, on 12 November 2014, Azov was incorporated into the National Guard of Ukraine. All regiment members were contract soldiers serving in the National Guard of Ukraine.
In 2014, the regiment gained notoriety after allegations emerged of torture and war crimes, as well as neo-Nazi sympathies and usage of associated symbols by the regiment itself, as seen in their logo featuring the Wolfsangel, one of the original symbols used by the 2nd SS Panzer Division Das Reich. Representatives of the Azov Battalion claim that the symbol is an abbreviation for the slogan Ідея Нації (Ukrainian for "National Idea") and deny connection with Nazism. In 2014, a spokesman for the regiment claimed around 10–20% of the unit were neo-Nazis. In 2018, a provision in an appropriations bill passed by the U.S. Congress blocked military aid to Azov on the grounds of its white supremacist ideology. Members of the regiment come from 22 countries and are of various backgrounds.
More than half of the regiment's members speak Russian and come from eastern Ukraine, including cities of Donetsk and Luhansk. The regiment's first commander was far-right nationalist Andriy Biletsky, who led the neo-Nazi Social-National Assembly and Patriot of Ukraine. In its early days, Azov was the Ministry of Internal Affairs' special police company, led by Volodymyr Shpara, the leader of the Vasylkiv, Kyiv, branch of Patriot of Ukraine and Right Sector. Under the "Azov" umbrella were also created the non-governmental organization "Azov Civil Corps" and the political party National Corps.
The Azov Battalion has its roots in a group of Ultras of FC Metalist Kharkiv named "Sect 82" (1982 is the year of the founding of the group). "Sect 82" was (at least until September 2013) allied with FC Spartak Moscow Ultras. Late February 2014, during the 2014 Ukrainian crisis when a separatist movement was active in Kharkiv, "Sect 82" occupied the Kharkiv Oblast regional administration building in Kharkiv and served as a local "self-defense"-force. Soon, on the basis of "Sect 82" there was formed a volunteer militia called "Eastern Corps".
On 13 April 2014 Minister of Internal Affairs Arsen Avakov[nb 1] issued a decree authorizing creating new paramilitary forces from civilians up to 12,000. The Azov Battalion (using "Eastern Corps" as its backbone) was formed on 5 May 2014 in Berdiansk by a white nationalist. Many members of Patriot of Ukraine joined the battalion. Among the early patrons of the battalion were a member of the Verkhovna Rada Oleh Lyashko, and an ultra-nationalist Dmytro Korchynsky and businessman Serhiy Taruta and Avakov. The battalion then received training near Kyiv by instructors with experience in the Georgian Armed Forces. The battalion started in Mariupol where it was involved in combat, and was briefly relocated to Berdiansk.
On 10 June, the battalion dismissed deputy commander Yaroslav Honchar and distanced themselves from him after Honchar made criticizing statements about looting and debauchery in Azov battalion. Igor Mosiychuk became deputy commander.
In June 2014, Anton Herashchenko (an advisor to the Minister of Internal Affairs) said that it was planned that the Azov battalion would have a strength of 400 people, and the salary for volunteers would be 4,300 hryvnia ($360) per month. (Contract soldiers were paid 1,505 hryvnia per month.)
If it was a tactical move there is nothing wrong with it ... if it's an attempt to reach an agreement concerning Ukrainian soil with separatists then obviously it's a betrayal.
In September 2014, the Azov battalion was expanded from a battalion to a regiment and enrolled into the National Guard of Ukraine. At about this time it started receiving increased supplies of heavy arms. The Azov battalion received funding from the Minister of Internal Affairs of Ukraine and other sources (believed to be Ukrainian oligarchs). So whilst its volunteers were officially paid 6,000 hryvnia ($316) per month, they really received around 10,000 hryvnia ($526) per month. The national socialist "Patriot of Ukraine" websites were shut down or put under restricted access.
In the 26 October 2014 Ukrainian parliamentary election Biletsky, the battalion's commander, won a constituency seat (as an independent candidate) in Kyiv's Obolon Raion (Biletsky hails from Kharkiv) in the Ukrainian parliament. In his constituency Biletsky won with 33.75% of the votes; runner up Vadym Stoylar followed with 17.17%. In parliament Biletsky did not join any faction. Member of the battalion Oleh Petrenko is also an MP for Petro Poroshenko Bloc after winning a constituency seat in Cherkasy in the same election. In his constituency Petrenko won with 41.15% of the votes; runner up Valentyna Zhukovska followed with 23.65%.
On 11 November 2014 the Azov Battalion was officially incorporated into the National Guard of Ukraine.
In March 2015 Interior Minister Arsen Avakov announced that the Azov Regiment would be among the first units to be trained by United States Army troops in their Operation Fearless Guardian training mission. US training however was withdrawn on 12 June 2015, as US House of Representatives passed an amendment blocking any aid (including arms and training) to the battalion due to its Neo-Nazi background. After the vote Congressman John Conyers thanked the House saying
I am grateful that the House of Representatives unanimously passed my amendments last night to ensure that our military does not train members of the repulsive neo-Nazi Azov Battalion, along with my measures to keep the dangerous and easily trafficked MANPADs out of these unstable regions.
However, the amendment has since been removed as of November 2016.
In August 2015, the Ukrainian government pulled all volunteer battalions, including the Azov Regiment, off the front lines around Mariupol, replacing them with regular military units. The Azov Regiment was moved to a base in Urzuf, in the former seaside villa of deposed Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, about 40 kilometers (25 miles) to the southwest of Mariupol.
On 27 April 2016, 300 troops and light-armored vehicles from the regiment were assigned to Odessa to safeguard public order after Mikheil Saakashvili wrote in social media about a rash of pro-Russian "titushki" attacks on civilians.
Azov published a media release on its website on 20 November 2017 noting that, on 16 November, it had met with a foreign delegation of officers from the United States Armed Forces and Canadian Armed Forces.[third-party source needed]
In October 2019, members of the US House of Representatives from the Democratic Party requested that the Azov Battalion and two other far-right groups be classified as a Foreign Terrorist Organization by the US State Department, citing recent acts of right-wing violence such as the Christchurch mosque shootings earlier that year. The request spurred protests by Azov's supporters in Ukraine.
Leadership and organisation
The regiment's first commander was Andriy Biletsky. Biletsky stayed out of the public spotlight working on expanding Azov to battalion size. In summer 2014, he took command of the unit. In August 2014, he was awarded a military decoration, "Order For Courage", by Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko, and promoted to lieutenant colonel of in the Interior Ministry's police forces. Because Biletsky was elected into the Ukrainian parliament in the 2014 Ukrainian parliamentary election he left the battalion in October 2016 (Ukrainian elected officials can not be in the military, nor the police).
A 16 July 2014 report placed the Azov Battalion's strength at 300. An earlier report stated that on June 23 almost 600 volunteers, including women, took oaths to join the "Donbass" and "Azov" battalions. The unit included 900 volunteers as of March 2015[update].
The battalion was originally nicknamed the "Men in Black" or "Black Corps" (ukr.: "Chorny Korpus"), a counter to Russia's Little Green Men due to their use of all-black fatigues and masks when raiding pro-Russian checkpoints.
The Ukrainian military decided to turn all volunteer battalions into regular military units for internal policy reasons. The Ukrainian government has opted to deploy only volunteer units to the Donbass front.
In January 2015 "Azov" Battalion was officially upgraded to Regiment and its structures took a definite shape. A mobilization center and a training facility was established in Kyiv, in former industrial complex "ATEK" for selection and examination; and the personnel, composed by volunteers from all over Ukraine, has to pass through a screening and vetting process, quite similar to army's mobilization procedures.
Recruits are then assigned to the combat units of the Regiments, or to support and supply units, where they undertake intensive combat drills training. Reconnaissance and EOD units are considered the élite of "Azov" and are manned by most experienced personnel (typically, former Ukrainian Army special forces or similar).
Since 2015 the Battalion has been upgraded to Regimental status and "Azov" is now officially called "Special Operations Regiment", with combat duties focused on reconnaissance, counter-reconnaissance, EOD disposal, interdiction and special weapons operations.
The regiment, the only territorial defense unit of its size in the NGU, is organized into:
- Regimental HQ
- 1st Commando Battalion
- 2nd Commando Battalion (in formation stage)
- 5th Tank Battalion
- Field Artillery Battery
- Reconnaissance Company
- Security Company
- Engineer Company
- Maintenance Company
- Logistic Company
- Signal Platoon
- CBRN-defense Platoon
- 4th (Training) Battalion
- Regimental Depot Kyiv
- Regimental Depot Mariupol
- Regimental Depot Berdiansk
According to The Daily Telegraph, the Azov Battalion's extremist politics and professional English social media pages have attracted foreign fighters, including people from Brazil, Ireland, Italy, United Kingdom, France, the United States, Greece, Scandinavia, Spain, Slovakia, Czech Republic and Russia. About 50 Russian nationals are members of the Azov regiment.
Around 20 Croatians joined the Azov Battalion in January 2015, ranging in age from 20 to 45. After Croatia's foreign minister Vesna Pusić confirmed that there are Croatian volunteers in Ukraine, the Russian Foreign Ministry called Croatia to withdraw its citizens from armed conflict. Pusić replied that Croatia opposes any involvement of Croatian citizens in the war, and stated that they went on their private initiative and that Croatia is working on bringing them home. Interior minister Ranko Ostojić said that Croatian volunteers are fighting on the side of the legitimate Ukrainian government and are not committing any kind of crime according to Croatian law.
According to French volunteers fighting for the insurgent side, the Azov Battalion has a French instructor named Gaston Besson who tried to recruit them over the internet.
According to Minsk Ceasefire Agreements, foreign fighters are not allowed to serve in Ukraine's military: since "Azov" Regiment was granted full military status, its foreign volunteers were compelled either to take Ukrainian citizenship, or to leave the Regiment. Despite the Minsk Ceasefire Agreements, the regiment still has foreign fighters, including an ex-British army serviceman Chris Garrett, a Brazilian nationalist named "Frank Horrigan" and a 33-year-old former soldier of the Greek army and French Foreign Legion known by the nom-de-guerre of "The Greek".
Human rights violations and war crimes
Reports published by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) have connected the Azov Battalion to war crimes such as mass looting, unlawful detention, and torture. An OHCHR report from March 2016 stated that the organisation had
collected detailed information about the conduct of hostilities by Ukrainian armed forces and the Azov regiment in and around Shyrokyne (31km east of Mariupol), from the summer of 2014 to date. Mass looting of civilian homes was documented, as well as targeting of civilian areas between September 2014 and February 2015.
Another OHCHR report documented an instance of rape and torture, writing:
A man with a mental disability was subject to cruel treatment, rape and other forms of sexual violence by 8 to 10 members of the 'Azov' and 'Donbas' (another Ukrainian battalion) battalions in August–September 2014. The victim's health subsequently deteriorated and he was hospitalized in a psychiatric hospital.
A report from January 2015 stated that a Donetsk Republic supporter was detained and tortured with electricity and waterboarding, which resulted in his confessing spying for pro-Russian militants.
The Azov Battalion has been described as a far-right militia with connections to neo-Nazism, with members wearing neo-Nazi and SS symbols and regalia and expressing Neo-Nazi views. The group's insignia features the Wolfsangel and the Black Sun, two neo-Nazi symbols.
Azov soldiers have been observed wearing Nazi-associated symbols on their uniforms. In 2014, the German ZDF television network showed images of Azov fighters wearing helmets with swastika symbols and "the SS runes of Hitler's infamous black-uniformed elite corps". A Polish war correspondent[who?] gained access in 2015 to one of Azov's bases located in the former holiday resort Majak; Azov fighters demonstrated to him Nazi tattoos as well as emblems on their uniforms. Shaun Walker writes in The Guardian that "Many of [Azov's] members have links with neo-Nazi groups, and even those who laughed off the idea that they are neo-Nazis did not give the most convincing denials", citing swastika tattoos among the fighters and one who claimed to be a "national socialist". According to The Daily Beast, some of the group's members are "neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and avowed anti-Semites", and
numerous swastika tattoos of different members and their tendency to go into battle with swastikas or SS insignias drawn on their helmets make it very difficult for other members of the group to plausibly deny any neo-Nazi affiliations.
Michael Colborne of Foreign Policy has called it "a dangerous neo-Nazi-friendly extremist movement" with "global ambitions", citing similarities between the group's ideology and symbolism and that of the 2019 Christchurch mosque shooter, along with efforts by the group to recruit American right-wing extremists.
A spokesman for the unit has said "only 10–20%" of its recruits are neo-Nazis, with one commander attributing neo-Nazi ideology to misguided youth. Members of the unit have stated that the inverted Wolfsangel, rather than connected to Nazism, represents the Ukrainian words for "united nation" or "national idea" (Ukrainian: Ідея Nації, Ideya Natsii).[a]
British political scientist Richard Sakwa writes that Azov's founding member Andryi Biletsky, leader of the neo-Nazi Social-National Assembly (SNA) made statements about a "historic mission" to lead the "white races of the world in a final crusade for their survival ... a crusade against the Semite-led Untermenschen", an ideology he traces to the national integralism of 1920s and '30s. Political scientist Ivan Katchanovski has compared the group's ideology to that of Patriot of Ukraine, saying,
The SNA/PU [Patriot of Ukraine] advocates a neo-Nazi ideology along with ultranationalism and racism. The same applies to [...] members of the Azov battalion and many football ultras and others who serve in this formation.
In June 2015, the Canadian defence minister declared that Canadian forces would not provide training or support to Azov Battalion. In 2018, the U.S. House of Representatives also passed a provision blocking any training of Azov members by American forces, citing its neo-Nazi connections. The House had previously passed amendments banning support of Azov between 2014 and 2017, but due to pressure from The Pentagon, the amendments were quietly lifted. This was protested by the Simon Wiesenthal Center which stated that lifting the ban highlighted the danger of Holocaust distortion in Ukraine.
Despite accusations that the group is anti-Semitic, some members of the Jewish community in Ukraine support and serve in the Azov Battalion. One of its most prominent members is Nathan Khazin, leader of the "Jewish hundreds" during the 2013 Euromaidan protests in Kyiv.
Civil Corps Azov
The Azov Battalion also has a non-military wing and non-governmental organization called "Civil Corps Azov" created "for political and social struggle". In 2016 members of Civil Corps Azov founded a social center "Cossack House" in Kyiv.
National Corps (political party)
In September 2016, the founder of the Azov Battalion, Andriy Biletsky, said that the Civil Corps Azov would be transformed into a political party. In early October 2016, Biletsky stated that the new party would use neither names nor symbols of the Azov Battalion. On 14 October 2016, this political party called National Corps held its first congress. There delegates elected Biletsky to head the party for the next four years. National Corps is based on the (political party) "Patriot Party" (which was named "Civic Movement Honest Business" before 2015,) "Patriot Party" was already registered by the Ministry of Justice.
The party advocates expanding the powers of the President of Ukraine by granting him authority to be the Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine as well as the head of government. National Corps favors restoring Ukraine's nuclear power status and nationalizing enterprises which were government owned when Ukraine became independent in 1991. The party wants Ukraine to break all ties with Russia (diplomatic, trade and culture ties). It is against Ukraine joining the European Union and against Ukraine joining NATO. It wants to create the "Intermarium Union" with Baltic and Black Sea nations (to include Ukraine, Belarus, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Czech Republic, Slovakia, etcetera). The party advocates expanding the right to bear arms and initiate public discussion about restoring capital punishment in Ukraine for treason and the embezzlement of government funds by officials in excessive amounts.
In 2017 a group called the National Militia, closely linked to the Azov movement, was formed. Its stated aim is to assist law enforcement agencies, which is allowed under Ukrainian law, and it has conducted street patrols. In March 2019 its membership was reportedly "in the low thousands".
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Azov Regiment.|
- The Ukrainian historic letter "N" was replaced with the Russian letter "H" for phoneme "n" with adopting of Civil script by Peter the Great in the beginning of 18th century.
- Margarete Klein (April 2015). "RUFS Briefing No. 27: Ukraine's volunteer battalions – advantages and challenges" (PDF). Swedish Defence Research Agency. Archived from the original (PDF) on 24 June 2015.
- Newman, Dina (16 July 2014). "Ukraine conflict: 'White power' warrior from Sweden". BBC News.
The Azov Battalion was formed and armed by Ukraine's interior ministry. A ministerial adviser, Anton Gerashchenko, [was asked] if the battalion had any neo-Nazi links through the Social National Assembly. 'The Social National Assembly is not a neo-Nazi organisation,' he said. 'It is a party of Ukrainian patriots...'
- Pancevski, Bojan (11 May 2014). "Kiev lets loose Men in Black". The Sunday Times. London. Retrieved 12 April 2018.
- Stallard, Katie (25 May 2014). "Ukraine Militia 'Ready To Take On Separatists'". Sky News. Archived from the original on 26 May 2014. Retrieved 15 September 2014.
- "The separatists fired on a bus with fighters of the "AZOV" special police battalion". National Police of Ukraine. 7 May 2014. Archived from the original on 12 April 2018. Retrieved 12 April 2018.
- Lazaredes, Nicholas (23 March 2015). "Ukraine crisis: Inside the Mariupol base of the controversial Azov battalion". ABC News. Sydney.
- Роз'яснення щодо статусу спецпідрозділу "Азов" [Clarification as to the status of Special Forces "Azov"]. ngu.gov.ua (in Ukrainian). 23 April 2015. Archived from the original on 9 July 2015. Retrieved 23 June 2016.
- РБК-Україна (22 June 2015), Комбат "Азова" заперечує зв'язок символіки батальйону з нацизмом. (in Ukrainian)
- Pugliese, David (26 June 2015). "Ukrainian unit accused of Neo-Nazi links wants Canada's help". Ottawa Citizen. Retrieved 20 December 2017.
- Kheel, Rebecca (2018-03-27). "Congress bans arms to Ukraine militia linked to neo-Nazis". The Hill. Retrieved 2019-09-24.
- Peterson, Nolan (10 August 2015). "How a Swedish Sniper Found Redemption in the Ukraine War". dailysignal.com. Retrieved 11 April 2018.
But the overwhelming majority of Azov soldiers say they're fighting for Ukraine's sovereignty and to repel what they call a "Russian invasion" of their homeland. Those with far-right convictions live and fight side-by-side soldiers from 22 countries and various backgrounds, including Arabs, Russians, and Americans—as well as Christians, Muslims, and Jews.
- Червоненко, Виталий (14 May 2018). "Антисемитизм или манипуляция: усиливается ли притеснение евреев в Украине?". BBC. Retrieved 19 October 2019.
- Ayres, Sabra (24 July 2014). "Driven by far-right ideology, Azov Battalion mans Ukraine's front line". Al Jazeera America. Retrieved 23 June 2016.
- Dorell, Oren (10 March 2015). "Volunteer Ukrainian unit includes Nazis". Usatoday.com. Retrieved 25 June 2015.
- (in Ukrainian) Andriy Biletsky: Avakov - man system, but the system I think is negative, Ukrayinska Pravda (18 October 2016)
- (in Ukrainian) The former leader of "Azov" Beletsky declared only salary and $ 5,000, Ukrayinska Pravda (30 October 2016)
- (in Ukrainian) Павєл Шеремет. Командир батальйону "Азов": Найстрашніша помилка влади - політичні переговори з сепаратистами, Українська правда (Ukrainian pravda), June 17, 2014.
- (in Ukrainian) Володимир Шпара очолив «Правий сектор» в місті Васильків та Васильківському районі[dead link], The Right Sector press-service, March 26, 2014.
- (in Russian) Командир батальона "Азов" Владимир Шпара: "Мы ришли не за властью, а защищать свою Родину" Archived 2014-07-01 at the Wayback Machine, June 12, 2014.
- Volunteer battalion Azov members and former members create National Corps political party, Interfax-Ukraine (14 October 2016)
- (in Ukrainian) "We are trying to come to power through elections, but we have all sorts of possibilities" - as "Azov" becomes party, Hromadske.TV (13 October 2016)
- Maidan nominates Yatseniuk for prime minister, Interfax-Ukraine (26 February 2014)
Ukrainian parliament endorses new cabinet, Interfax-Ukraine (27 February 2014)
- (in Russian) Для урегулирования ситуация на Юго-Востоке МВД создает спецподразделения по охране общественного порядка Archived 2016-03-04 at the Wayback Machine, Arena.in.ua, 15 April 2014.
- "Azov regiment announces creation of own party". UNIAN. 16 September 2016. Archived from the original on 17 September 2016. Retrieved 16 November 2016.
- Hoyle, Ben (5 September 2014). "Neo-Nazis give Kiev a last line of defence in the east". The Times. Mariupol.
- Nemtsova, Anna (27 May 2014). "War and Murder in Eastern Ukraine". The Daily Beast. Retrieved 16 November 2016.
- Azov Battalion announced signing of new warriors, TSN News, May 20, 2014.
- ""Азов" відхрестився від критика АТО Ярослава Гончара". Channel 5. 10 June 2014. Retrieved 1 November 2015.
- "Reinforcements for the Azov Battalion". euromaidanpress.com. 24 June 2014.
- UAH to USD Chart, 23 Jul 2013 00:00 UTC - 22 Jul 2018 11:20 UTC This gives an exchange rate of $0.08409 per hryvnia (11.892 hryvnia = $1) for 25 June 2014.
- Parfitt, Tom (11 August 2014). "Ukraine crisis: the neo-Nazi brigade fighting pro-Russian separatists". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 14 August 2014.
- Fergal Keane (5 September 2014). "Ukraine crisis: Heavy shelling in hours before ceasefire". BBC. Retrieved 7 September 2014.
- "Ukraine crisis: Ceasefire is 'largely holding'". BBC. 6 September 2014. Retrieved 7 September 2014.
- Baczynska, Gabriela (25 March 2015). "Ukrainian battalion gears up for more fighting". Reuters. Archived from the original on 24 January 2016. Retrieved 15 June 2015..
This gives an exchange rate of 19.0000 hryvnia = $1.
- "Right Sector, Azov Battalion march to commemorate the Ukrainian Insurgent Army". KyivPost. Archived from the original on 2014-10-15. Retrieved 19 February 2015.
- Steve Rosenberg (24 October 2014). "Ukraine election: Land of chaos and courage". BBC. Retrieved 24 October 2014.
- Sonne, Paul; Shchetko, Nick (24 October 2014). "Ukraine Government Heralds Election, But Not All Voters Feel Inspired". wsj.com. Retrieved 23 June 2016.
- Ishchenko, Volodymyr (13 November 2014). "Ukraine has ignored the far right for too long – it must wake up to the danger". theguardian.com. Archived from the original on 13 November 2014.
- "Extraordinary parliamentary election on 26.10.2014: Data on vote counting at precincts within single-mandate districts". Central Election Commission of Ukraine. 26 October 2014. Archived from the original on 29 October 2014.
- Парламентські вибори: Кандидати на мажоритарних округах: Одномандатний виборчий округ № 217 [Parliamentary elections: Candidates for the majority constituencies: single-mandate constituency No. 217] (in Ukrainian). RBK Ukraine. 30 October 2014. Missing or empty
- (in Ukrainian) profile, on the official website of the Ukrainian parliament
- (in Ukrainian) Full list of newly elected People's Deputies, Televiziyna Sluzhba Novyn (12 November 2014)
- Парламентські вибори: Кандидати на мажоритарних округах: Одномандатний виборчий округ № 22 [Parliamentary elections: Candidates for the majority constituencies: single-mandate constituency No. 22] (in Ukrainian). RBK Ukraine. 5 December 2014. Archived from the original on 5 December 2014.
- Ian Bateson; Kyiv Post staff (3 December 2014). "Former Azov battalion leader works to clean up Kyiv regional police, his image". Kyiv Post. Archived from the original on 2014-12-03. Retrieved 30 October 2015.
- "US forces to hold exercises in Ukraine". Huffington Post. 31 March 2015. Retrieved 20 June 2015.
- John Conyers, Jr (11 June 2015). "U.S. House Passes 3 Amendments By Rep. Conyers To Defense Spending Bill To Protect Civilians From Dangers Of Arming and Training Foreign Forces". US House of Representatives. Archived from the original on 17 November 2015. Retrieved 20 June 2015.
- Carden, James (12 June 2015). "Why Is Washington Still Pushing for War With Russia?". The Nation. Archived from the original on 2015-08-18. Retrieved 12 June 2015.
- Carden, James (2016-01-14). "Congress Has Removed a Ban on Funding Neo-Nazis From Its Year-End Spending Bill". The Nation. ISSN 0027-8378. Retrieved 2020-01-31.
- Nolan Peterson. "Putin's War: Regular and Volunteer Ukrainian Troops Vie in Mariupol", Newsweek, 29 August 2015.
- Driebergen, Michiel (11 October 2016). "Campfire Songs and Kalashnikovs". Foreign Policy. Archived from the original on 30 December 2018.
- До Одеси вже прибуло щонайменше 300 бійців полку "Азов" [At least 300 fighters for the "Azov" regiment have arrived in Odessa]. Pravda.com.ua (in Ukrainian). 27 April 2016. Retrieved 19 June 2016.
- "До полку АЗОВ завітала багатонаціональна інспекційна група". 20 November 2017. Retrieved 14 April 2018.
- Owen, Tess (16 October 2019). "House Democrats Just Demanded These Neo-Nazi Groups Be Prosecuted as International Terrorists". Vice News.
- Nemtsova, Anna; Dickey, Christopher (15 November 2019). "Ukraine's Anti-Russia Azov Battalion: 'Minutemen' or Neo-Nazi Terrorists?". The Daily Beast.
- Colborne, Michael (1 November 2019). "U.S. Congress Accidentally Boosted Ukraine's Far-Right". Foreign Policy.
- УКАЗ ПРЕЗИДЕНТА УКРАЇНИ № 631/2014: Про відзначення державними нагородами України [DECREE OF THE PRESIDENT OF UKRAINE: № 631/2014 On awarding state decorations of Ukraine] (in Ukrainian). 2 August 2014. Archived from the original on 6 August 2014.
- Will Stewart and Sara Malm. Ukraine's women sign up to fight as top politician claims number of children killed is 'ten times higher than official toll', UK Newsday, 23 June 2014.
- Dorrell, Oren (10 March 2015). "Volunteer Ukrainian unit includes Nazis". USA Today. Retrieved 4 November 2015.
Andriy Diachenko, a spokesman for the Azov Brigade, said only 10% to 20% of the group's members are Nazis.
- "Ukraine: Batallion Backed by Jewish Billionaire Sent to Fight Pro-Russian Militias". The Algemeiner. June 14, 2014. Retrieved 24 February 2020.
- "Ukrainian Military Personnel: Volunteers". Global Security Org. 4 August 2015. Retrieved 16 November 2016.
- Peterson, Nolan (21 April 2015). "A Ukrainian National Guard Unit Trains to 'Fight to the Death'". NewsWeek. Retrieved 7 July 2015.
- Swedish neo-Nazis join fight in Ukraine, The Local Sweden, 30 July 2014.
- "Note to Ukraine: Stop Whitewashing the Political Record". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 19 February 2015.
- Sukhov, Oleg (24 April 2015). "Foreigners Who Fight And Die For Ukraine: Russians join Ukrainians to battle Kremlin in Donbas". Kyiv Post. Archived from the original on 2015-04-27.
- Kristović, Ivica (11 February 2015). "Dao sam otkaz, ostavio ženu i djecu te krenuo pomoći Ukrajincima". Večernji list (in Croatian). Retrieved 14 February 2015.
- "Balkan Citizens Fight in Ukraine and Syria". Archived from the original on 26 June 2015. Retrieved 24 June 2015.
- Krnić, Denis (14 February 2015). "Otkrivamo zašto je Putin ljut samo na Hrvate: naredba je - zapovjednika iz "Azova" uhvatiti živog!". Slobodna Dalmacija (in Croatian). Archived from the original on 2015-02-15. Retrieved 15 February 2015.
- "Pusić: Ima hrvatskih vojnika koji su se priključili ukrajinskoj vojsci" (in Croatian). Index.hr. 11 February 2015. Retrieved 1 March 2015.
- (in Russian) Французский шарм ополчения Донбасса, Komsomolskaya Pravda, August 26, 2014 - on YouTube
- Leahy, Joe (10 January 2017). "Brazil neo-Nazi claim tests myth of racial harmony". Financial Times. Retrieved 12 April 2018.
- "Brazilian Neo-Nazis Recruited to Fight pro-Russian Rebels in Ukraine". Haaretz. 2017. Retrieved 2018-07-06.
- Karatnycky, Adrian (19 February 2015). "A Closer Look at the Ukraine Cease-Fire Agreement". The New York Times. Retrieved 17 December 2016.
- "Meet the European Fighters Who Have Gone to War in Ukraine". VICE. Retrieved 22 October 2015.
- "Report on the human rights situation in Ukraine 16 November 2015 to 15 February 2016" (PDF). Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. February 2016. Retrieved 16 November 2016.
- "Report on the human rights situation in Ukraine 16 February to 15 May 2016" (PDF). Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. May 2016. Retrieved 16 November 2016.
- Parfitt, Tom (11 August 2014). "Ukraine crisis: the neo-Nazi brigade fighting pro-Russian separatists". Telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 23 June 2016.
- Walker, Shaun (10 September 2014). "Azov fighters are Ukraine's greatest weapon and may be its greatest threat". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 10 September 2014.
- Luhn, Alec (30 August 2014). "Preparing for War With Ukraine's Fascist Defenders of Freedom". Foreign Policy.
- Miller, Christopher (14 November 2018). "Azov, Ukraine's Most Prominent Ultranationalist Group, Sets Its Sights On U.S., Europe". RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty. Prague.
- lądowe, Wojska (13 June 2015). "USA nie będą szkolić batalionu Azow". Altair.com.pl (in Polish). Archived from the original on 15 June 2015. Retrieved 27 June 2015.
- Hinz, Linda (14 August 2014). "Schmutziger Kampf in der Ukraine: Neonazis im Dienst der Regierung" [Dirty war in Ukraine: neo-Nazis in service of the government]. Focus Online (in German). Retrieved 23 June 2016.
- "Ukrainian soldiers seen wearing helmets with Nazi swastika and SS symbols". Haaretz. 9 September 2014. Retrieved 21 June 2015.
- "German TV Shows Nazi Symbols on Helmets of Ukraine Soldiers". NBC News. 9 September 2014. Retrieved 23 June 2016.
- Chłopcy z „Azowa” bronią Mariupola. Ukrainy, Europy i… białej rasy, Intera (8 July 2015)
- Cathcart, Will; Epstein, Joseph (14 April 2017). "How Many Neo-Nazis Is the U.S. Backing in Ukraine?". The Daily Beast.
- Sakwa, Richard (18 December 2014). Frontline Ukraine: Crisis in the Borderlands. I.B.Tauris. p. 158. ISBN 978-0-85773-804-2. Retrieved 23 June 2016.
- Katchanovski, Ivan (19 June 2014). "My Interview with the Radio Sweden Concerning the Azov Battalion in Ukraine". academia.edu. Retrieved 23 June 2016.
- Brewster, Murray (26 June 2015). "No training for Azov regiment: Kenney". Kiev, Ukraine: The Canadian Press. Retrieved 27 June 2015.
- Kheel, Rebecca (2018-03-27). "Congress bans arms to Ukraine militia linked to neo-Nazis". TheHill. Retrieved 2018-07-06.
- "US lifts ban on funding 'neo-Nazi' Ukrainian militia". The Jerusalem Post | JPost.com. Retrieved 2018-07-06.
- Sokol, Sam (18 January 2016). "US lifts ban on funding 'neo-Nazi' Ukrainian militia". Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 23 June 2016.
- Червоненко, Виталий (14 May 2018). "Антисемитизм или манипуляция: усиливается ли притеснение евреев в Украине?" [Anti-Semitism or Manipulation: Is Jewish Oppression Intensified in Ukraine?]. BBC News (in Ukrainian).
- (in Ukrainian) "Azov" become party, gazeta.ua (28 May 2016)
- (in Russian) Ukrainian battalion "Azov" created his own political party, RBC Information Systems (12 October 2016)
- (in Ukrainian) "Azov" creates a political party, Ukrayinska Pravda (12 October 2016)
- (in Ukrainian) "Azov" created a party who wants to restore the nuclear potential and legalization of firearms, Ukrayinska Pravda (14 October 2016)
- Bennetts, Marc (13 March 2018). "Ukraine's National Militia: 'We're not neo-Nazis, we just want to make our country better'". The Guardian. Retrieved 13 March 2018.
- Fisher, Jonah (4 April 2018). "Ukraine: On patrol with the far-right National Militia". BBC News. Retrieved 11 April 2018.
- Deputized As Election Monitors, Ukrainian Ultranationalists 'Ready To Punch' Violators, Radio Free Europe (7 March 2019)