Recently, an article entitled «How a White-Supremacist Militia Uses Facebook to Radicalize and Train New Members» in such a respected and authoritative magazine as “TIME” appeared. The Azov Regiment cannot ignore such ridiculous accusations in crimes, so we believe that it is necessary to give the public real information and to quote the legislation of Ukraine, in which, apparently, «authoritative» journalists behind the publication are not competent.
By the way, the tyrants, such as Hitler (1938) and Stalin (1939), were once named The Man of the Year by this magazine, and in 2007 the cover of TIME was «decorated» by Vladimir Putin’s photo. The editors called him the «Tsar of New Russia» — do we need any more comments about who can stand behind such publications?
This article begins with a story about a certain Norwegian citizen, Joachim Furholm, who wanted to join the Azov Regiment but was not accepted. It is not clear at all why this pamphlet begins with a completely uninteresting fuss about some foreigners who were not taken to the unit. The use of the term «Militia», which appears in the title and is used throughout the text, is very manipulative. That term makes an impression that the regiment is a public formation, not a special unit of the National Guard of Ukraine. The fact that Azov is subordinated to the National Guard of Ukraine is mentioned only once and almost at the very end of the text.
Accordingly, readers of the article can get an impression that the Azov Regiment is the power wing of the National Corps political party. But we must draw the attention of dear «journalists» to the fact that, according to the laws of Ukraine, a citizen serving in the military cannot be a member of any political party. That’s why the claim that the Azov Regiment is the power wing of a political party is also false and manipulative. Following the same logic, it can be said that the US Marine Corps is the power wing of the Republican or Democratic Party of the United States, because veterans of this military formation are among the members of these parties.
Further, it is said in the article that the persons who have actually been trained in the ranks of Azov are being persecuted by the FBI. If it is so, why in the course of all these years the only known request for the extradition of a US citizen from Ukraine to the United States was a volunteer of Right Sector Craig Lang?
If the training of American citizens with the purpose of using them in acts of violence is indeed widespread, why the FBI is not passing on the relevant evidence base to the Ukrainian law enforcement agencies? The more so, according to the Ukrainian law, only foreigners legally staying in Ukraine can serve in the National Guard of Ukraine… It means that either TIME journalists are lying, or the FBI accuses Ukraine in violating the UN International Convention on the Prohibition of the Recruitment, Use, Financing and Training of Mercenaries. The claim that the Azov Regiment trained the New Zealand terrorist Brenton Tarrant at one of its bases during the Tarrant’s tourist visit to Ukraine, or that he was inspired by the Azov Regiment, is as absurd as the claim that the United States supports terrorism because the person who (Timothy McVeigh) was responsible for the terrorist attack in Oklahoma City once served in the US Army and participated in the Gulf War.
In the light of the aforementioned information, quite unequivocal conclusions have arisen: either «TIME» journalists are completely unaware of the Ukrainian legislation on the functioning of the Armed Forces and the National Guard, or they deliberately tarnish the good name of the unit, which has been fighting against Russian separatist forces for seven years already.
We have repeatedly emphasized that the Azov Regiment is a structural unit of the National Guard of Ukraine, subordinated to the Ministry of Internal Affairs and in some cases to the General Staff; its activity is regulated by the Constitution of Ukraine and appropriate normative acts. Such a slander as accusation in terrorism cannot be taken seriously by thinking persons. After all, the unit was created precisely to fight Russian terrorism, which the Azov Regiment has been performing since 2014. Getting the unit involved in political clashes and publishing an outright lie about Azov is unacceptable and will tarnish the memory of the fighters who laid down their lives for Ukraine in the ranks of our regiment.