The Azov battalion is part of the National Guard, is part of the Ukrainian army, and those members of the 2014 model volunteer battalions who wanted to engage in politics have done so, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in an interview with Greek broadcaster EPT published Monday.
When asked about accusations of the Azov battalion of neo-Nazism, Zelensky said that “in 2014, when the volunteer squads were defending the country, “many of their appeals were quite radical against the Russian Federation. They were volunteers and it was their personal point of view.”
“The Azov battalion are not volunteers, but are part of the National Guard. They are the official army of our state. Those who wanted to engage in politics – they were engaged in politics. Those who decided to be in the AFU, they became part of the AFU,” the president said.
At the same time, he noted that he and his team “are watching very closely” for manifestations of radicalism.
“Calls for radicalism, I think, there are very few of them in our country compared to many states in the world. We have almost none, despite the fact that there is a war going on. We take calls for radical things very seriously. And we suppress and stop any such steps,” he said, adding that “we believe that what the Russian military is doing in our country is Nazism.