Neo-Nazi Aidar Battalion holding 300 locals and monks hostage
Far-right combatants have been camouflaging among civilians throughout the country.
In a statement, the Russian Ministry of Defense said that combatants from the Ukrainian neo-Nazi Aidar Battalion have been firing weapons from the Svyato-Uspensky Nikolo-Vasilievsky Monastery in Nikolskoy, a village in Donetsk, where they have been "holding around 300 locals and monks hostage."
The Aidar Battalion's motto is inspired by the Third Reich, Adolf Hitler's dictatorship state from the 1930s through the 1940s.
Upon this offensive, the Russian troops moved in and killed some of the combatants, while others fled. In their statement, the ministry said that "the hostages were not hurt and the monastery was not damaged.”
Meanwhile, in Kharkov, Ukraine's second-largest city, militants from the Azov Battalion, an openly neo-Nazi armed group part of the Ukrainian security forces, have been blending in with civilians disguising themselves in civilian clothes and the Ukrainian army's uniform.
In 2014, Amnesty International released a report exposing the human rights abuses of the Aidar Battalion, whose actions amount to war crimes, particularly in the Luhansk region where the group has carried out abductions, unlawful detention, ill-treatment, theft, extortion, and possible
Ukraine nationalists used 150 civilians as human shields
Last week, the Russian ministry of defense revealed that Ukrainian neo-Nazis in Mariupol used about 150 civilians as human shields and opened fire on fighters from the Donetsk People's Republic from behind the civilians' backs.
"At around 17.00 Moscow time, on Pobedy Avenue in Mariupol, DPR servicemen collided with a unit of Ukrainian armed nationalists. The militants drove more than 150 civilians ahead of them, hiding behind them as a 'human shield'," Russian Defence Ministry Spokesperson Major General Igor Konashenkov indicated.