Zelensky's armed guard spotted with WWII Nazi insignia
The skull-and-bone insignia dates back to WWII Nazi Germany.
An armed guard who works for the Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelensky, has been spotted with a Nazi insignia; a symbol that dates back to Nazi Germany during World War II.
The image in which the insignia is visible was shared, either purposely or in complete naivety, by the office of the Ukrainian president. The image was taken during his visit to the reclaimed town on Izyum on Wednesday.
The skull-and-bones image, which was spotted on the back of a heavily armed Ukrainian soldier, is attributed to the SS-Totenkopfverbande units of Nazi Germany's paramilitary Schutzstaffel, which was responsible for maintaining security at the concentration camps in which Jews were burned alive.
The symbol was also adopted by the Panzer Division – the ‘Totenkopf’ – of the Waffen-SS, which emerged from concentration camp guards initially, going on to fight on the Eastern front, committing serious war crimes.
Numerous far-right and nationalist parties in Ukraine adopted the symbol, which was dubbed a hate symbol by experts, in recent times, inspired by Ukrainian far-right groups which collaborated with Nazi Germany in World War II against the Soviet Union.
Zelensky’s office, in addition to the Ukrainian defense ministry, released a photo of a Ukrainian troop in May, heavily armed, wearing a ‘death head’ patch on his chest. Russia, in response, highlighted the influence that extremist groups have on Ukraine.
Kiev’s army has openly neo-Nazi battalions operating on the battlefronts against Russia, holding neo-Nazi symbols out in the open, raising questions about Europe’s commitment and claims of combatting Nazism.
The Aidar Battalion’s motto is inspired by the Third Reich, Adolf Hitler's dictatorship state from the 1930s through the 1940s. 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 executions.
In March, the National Guard of Ukraine's Twitter account released a video, boasting about Azov fighters greasing their bullets with lard to be used against Muslim Chechens on the Russian side. The Azov battalion is a part of the Ukrainian National Guard - a wing of the Ukrainian Ministry of Internal Affairs, which flaunts its Nazism very openly.
The video came as a direct threat to Muslims who hold the Islamic beliefs that pig is prohibited for their consumption, and that it's impure substance.
The tweet captioned, "Azov fighters of the National Guard greased the bullets with lard against the Kadyrov orcs," referring to Ramzan Kadyrov, who is the president of the Chechen republic.
The United States and Canada over the years have aided the neo-Nazi units with weapons and training, strengthening their presence in Ukraine.