The rise of Azov | Open Democracy

Strange it may seem, but Ukraine’s far right and Russia’s propaganda machine share a common fantasy: a radical right-wing coup in Kyiv. Just as the Ukrainian right has been making moves in domestic politics over the past year, a coup scenario in the country’s capital would be precisely the escalation Russia needs to win the war in the east.

If we do see regime change in Ukraine, then the Azov volunteer battalion is a likely candidate to take charge of this new “junta”. Formed from far-right groups as separatist conflict broke out in 2014, Azov was initially created as a special police battalion, and quickly won a reputation for defending the city of Mariupol in south-eastern Ukraine. It is now a regiment within Ukraine’s National Guard.

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