The German Bundestag knows exactly what the “Battalion Azov” is and how it got its start. The documents show that the extreme right-wing grouping was integrated into official structures and even subordinated to international humanitarian law.

Scientific Services, German Bundestag, Documentation. On the Ukrainian “Azov Regiment” and possible reinforcement by German volunteers from the right-wing extremist milieu. Selected sources and factual overview.

 

Scientific Services, German Bundestag, Documentation. On the Ukrainian “Azov Regiment” and possible reinforcement by German volunteers from the right-wing extremist milieu. Selected sources and factual overview.

 

File number: WD 2 – 3000 – 025/22

 

Completion of work: 21 April 2022

 

Section: WD 2: Foreign Affairs, International Law, Economic Cooperation and Development, Defence, Human Rights and Humanitarian Aid.

 

cientific Services, Documentation, page 7.

 

WD 2 – 3000 – 025/22

Initially, the group was largely privately funded, but soon received support from the Ukrainian government. Considered one of the main supporters in financial terms is the Ukrainian billionaire and oligarch of Jewish descent Igor Kolomoyskyi (19). The fighters were paid about 400 euros per month around 2014 (20, 21).

 

The “Azov Battalion” was first deployed in combat in June 2014 and, with about 400 fighters (22), played a major role in the successful recapture of the city of Mariupol (23) on the Sea of Azov – a city with half a million inhabitants – which was temporarily occupied by pro-Russian separatists (24). It was above all this mission that established a certain acceptance among the population, especially in the area around Mariupol, which continues to this day.

 

By September 2014, the battalion had grown to become the “Special Operations Regiment Azov” and in October 2014, the then Ukrainian Interior Minister Arsen Avakov announced the incorporation of the regiment into the Ukrainian National Guard (25). The latter is subordinate to the Ministry of the Interior. Since then, the regiment has not only been integrated into the extended chain of command of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, but is also fully subject to the Ukrainian legal system and international humanitarian law.