A culture that doesn’t respect its warriors gets replaced by one that does.
Bellingcat has produced some great research which I’ve posted here before. But their latest work —
is slander and guilt-by-association. It mixes fascism with any expression of ethnic identity or solidarity.
Sure some members of Azov have troubling views. You know what? So did a lot of the soldiers in my platoon in the US Army’s 82nd Airborne division. The guys who show up to fight are not your fucking gender studies majors and male feminists.
When I visited the Azov battalion in Shyrokyne, I was moved almost to tears by the quality of people I encountered. A film maker, an architect, the head of a Ukrainian lawfirm. An eighteen year old leader with as much poise, clarity, and maturity as I have ever seen from any military leader. It was only during my third time seeing him that he revealed me he was injured during the evacuation at Illovaisk — 17 at the time.
Azov stared down the Russian army when the fate of Mariupol and Ukraine in general was very much in doubt. And many of them died. They deserve our gratitude.