Ukraine/Death squad

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Concept.png Ukraine/Death squad
(Death squad,  Project AERODYNAMIC)Rdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
Dreizin article-war-crimes-2.webp
Murdered civilians falling into a grave. The picture is from a video that was shared by Maksim Zhorin.[1][2]
Interest ofNatalya Vovk
Ukrainian death squads carry out extrajudicial killings and torture.

Ukrainian death squads (sometimes also called punisher battalions) have mostly been referred to as (irregular) "right-wing" militias by the commercially-controlled media, or something akin to that.[3] The Azov battalion being the one which gets most often mentioned. Since their genesis in 2014 they have strongly integrated with the regular troops of Ukraine. Members of these groups are connected to the creation of the Ukrainian kill list, which had a focus on "enemy collaborators" in the Donbas in the beginning.[4]

Official narrative

"They are what they are."

Bret Baier: I want to have you clear something up for us. And this is these reports about the Azov battalion that is said to be a Nazi affiliated organization, operating as a militia in your country, said to be committing their own atrocities. What should Americans know about that unit, about those reports?

Volodymyr Zelensky: So Azov was one of those many battalions. They are what they are. They were defending our country. [Zelensky continues to explain that these volunteer organizations were later incorporated into the military and are not a self governing structure anymore] Back in 2014 there were situations when our volunteers were encircled and some of them did violate laws, laws of Ukraine and they were actually taken to court and got prison sentences.”

Bret Baier,  Volodymyr Zelensky (2 April 2022)  [5]


After the end of the 2nd World War, the CIA took over the intelligence gathering and sabotage networks of Gehlen. Project AERODYNAMIC was initiated to exploit the Anti-Soviet Ukrainian resistance movement for "cold war and hot war purposes". It ended in 1970 and was succeed by Project QRPLUMB, which ran until 91. QRPLUMB was assigned to the CIA’s Political and Psychological Staff's Soviet East Europe Covert Action Program.[6] Declassified documents do not go further in time, but foreign influence from the United States, was already strongly felt again in the 2004 Orange Revolution - while "right-wing", paramilitary formations (especially UNA-UNSO, now merged into Right Sector) were already mentioned as violent extremists,[7] taking part in foreign conflicts [8] and having hatred for protected groups.[9]

War crimes

Israel Is Arming Ukraine's Blatantly Neo-Nazi Militia the Azov Battalion - TRNN

Einars Graudins [10] reported in 2014 (from automated translation):[11]

In Donetsk, we were told that Ukrainian fighters killed civilians for nothing. In the morgue we were shown the bodies of a husband and wife who had been shot in the river. The couple was driving along the road. They were stopped by mercenaries of the Ukrainian army, dragged out of the car, shot and the bodies thrown into the river. The military took the car and money.


We had a long conversation with women from the village of Nizhnyaya Krynka. They themselves approached us with a request that we listen to them. The stories of these women shook me to the core. Personally, I stood there like a stumbling block and could not find any words. I was simply numbed by the grief that these women had experienced.


They said that mercenaries from the Azov and Donbass battalions subjected all the women in the village to frequent gang rapes. The victims of abuse were teenage girls from 12 years old and elderly women.

In front of me stood one of such victims - a girl of 13 years old. She was thin, weak, with a hunted look. Her mother told me that Ukrainian fighters had raped her daughter several times. The grief of the mother cannot be conveyed in words. She literally screamed with horror.

The women also said that their houses were looted. ATO fighters were lining up at the post office to send the loot to their homes.

White books

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation has published at least four white books (March, June, November 2014;[12] and one in 2015 [13][14]) which document the crimes committed by Ukrainian soldiers and militia formations. The 2015 edition (authored by "The Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation") notes the following on page 106:

"in the settlements of the Lugansk and Donetsk regions which were in the grips of the so-called anti-terrorist operation, where armed members of the National Guard of Ukraine and fighters of nationalist battalions committed atrocities against civilians: killing, raping, plundering ‘for war needs’, kidnapping and intimidating people."

Witnesses report the following:

  • Yevgeny, resident of Slavyansk in the Donetsk region, born in 1986
"The Ukrainian military kill people they come across, thus performing ‘cleansing’, rape women, threaten with weapons, loot, rob, engage in excesses and outrageous conduct, with a sense of complete impunity. They can go into a house, shoot people there, pick up things, food and leave."
"I heard that buses with children and women, traveling from Slavyansk around May 2014 flying white flags, were shelled. In general, the shelling of transportation carrying people who are leaving or humanitarian aid has become the norm in Slavyansk. In the Semenovka area, all transportation, carrying both cargo and women and children, are shelled by the Ukrainian military."
  • Svetlana, resident of Donetsk, born in 1991
"In the Lugansk area, a hospital with wounded patients was shelled, killing a surgeon. In Slavyansk, military servicemen, militants of the Right Sector and the National Guard of Ukraine shot patients in the hospital and also medical staff in the maternity hospital along with women in labor. In south-eastern Ukraine, the military kill civilians, rape women and then kill them by cutting their throats"
  • Polina, resident of Slavyansk in the Donetsk region, born in 1979
"When riots started in Ukraine, residents of the south-eastern regions did not support the seizing of power in Kiev by Turchynov, Yatsenyuk and their supporters. In Slavyansk, self-defence units were formed from within the local community, in order to prevent crimes - robberies, looting, murders, which were being committed in other cities and settlements by militants of the Right Sector and the National Guard of Ukraine, who came from the western regions. The self-defence units did not threaten anyone - they had to be created to protect the people from the tyranny of the militant nationalists."



Page nameDescription
Aidar BattalionNeo Nazi Army battalion in Ukraine
Azov BattalionThe not be talked about neo-nazi army battalion Ukraine used to fight against the Russian military in the Donbass and Ukraine. Its existence is highly talked down in western media, even though the UN accused them multiple times of war crimes, including electrocuting and raping men.
Donbas BattalionVolunteer paramilitary unit formed during the early stages of the conflict in Eastern Ukraine in 2014, responsible for war crimes.
MyrotvoretsWebsite that publishes private information of "the enemies of Ukraine"; sometimes referred to as Ukrainian kill list.
Right Sector/Paramilitary wingParamilitary wing of Right Sector responsible for many war crimes.


Related Quotations

Death squad“So what the US military advisors do, is to teach the people in the country how to organize themselves, and how to carry out missions, and how to keep their mouths shut about missions, and how to be more "professional" in the jobs that the ingenious troops want to carry out anyway. [...] It wasn't quite that the American advisors said thou shall create a death squad and you gonna report to me, no. What they said was: here is how to organize yourself, to conduct missions and don't report to me, because I don't want to know it.”Christopher Simpson2014
Petro Poroshenko“we [in Ukraine] will have work they – [in the Donbas] won’t. We will have pensions – they won’t. We will care for our children and pensioners – they won’t. Our children will go to school, to kindergartens – their children will sit in cellars*. They don’t know how to organize or do anything. This, ultimately, is how we will win this war.”Petro PoroshenkoOctober 2014
War party“The Americans want war. The people that Biden has appointed have an emotional hatred of Russia. I’ve spoken to government people who are close to the Democratic Party, and they’ve told me that there’s a pathological emotional desire for war with Russia, largely stemming from the fact that the Tzars were anti-Semitic and there’s still the hatred about their ancestors: “Look what they did to my great-grandfather.” And so they’re willing to back the Nazis, back the anti-Semites in Ukraine. They’re willing to back today’s anti-Semites all over the world as long as they’re getting back at this emotional focus on a kind of post 19th-century economy.
I’ve met these people. Their emotion is one of hatred and anger. You can look at their face and see what they’ve become. This is really dangerous. They are crazy. And Putin is quite right. America has got its power by breaking contracts.”
Michael Hudson24 March 2021


Related Documents

TitleTypePublication dateAuthor(s)Description
Document:War CrimesArticle9 October 2022Jacob DreizinAn article that was written on the occurrence of the disposal of civilians posted in video by Maksim Zhorin.
File:White Book-2.pdfreportJune 2014Russian Ministry of Foreign AffairsWhite Book update - on violations of human rights and the rule of law in Ukraine between April and mid-June 2014
File:White Book.pdfreport5 May 2014Russian Ministry of Foreign AffairsA White Book on violations of human rights and the rule of law in Ukraine since November 2013, released by the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs on 5 May 2014
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  3. Simon Ostrovsky for Vice News preferred to term Azov "ultra nationalist volunteer battalion" in 2014, see Under Fire with the Azov Battalion: Russian Roulette (Dispatch 76 / Sep 6, 2014), from the Russian Roulette in Ukraine series
  4. saved at saved at
  5. Fox News 04:15 / The interview "premiered" on Youtube on 2nd of April (source), the part with the questions about AZOV, however, seems to be ommited from it (was released as "Clip" on Fox News April 03, 2022)
  7. - In July 1999, 17 UNA-UNSO members were detained and criminally charged after the Ukrainian authorities seized 64 bottles of an explosive mixture that was to be used to prevent a religious procession that was planned by the Russian Orthodox Church (BBC 30 July 1999).
  8. - Regarding its activities, UNA-UNSO has participated in armed conflicts outside of the Ukraine, including in Abkhazia to assist the Georgians against Russian separatists, in Moldova against the pro-Romanians, in Yugoslavia to assist the Serbs against the Bosnians (UNA-UNSO n.d.c; see also ibid. n.d.b; RFE/RL 30 June 2003) and in Russia to assist Chechens against Russians (FSU Monitor 19 Jan. 2001).