Ukrainian veteran reveals US delay in lifting Azov brigade weapon ban — Video

Brigade commander Denys Prokopenko (Redis) with Azov soldiers during assault group training
Brigade commander Denys Prokopenko (Redis) with Azov soldiers during assault group training

Oleksiy Hetman, a veteran of the Russo-Ukrainian war and reserve major, explained on NV Radio on June 11 why it took over 800 days since Russia's full-scale invasion for the United States to lift the ban on the use of their weapons by the Azov Brigade and what commentary should accompany this decision.

Олексій Гетьман

військовий аналітик

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The issue arises from information about Azov's criminal activities, which seemingly originated from Russian sources. Russia, if memory serves, designated it a terrorist organization during the Anti-Terrorist Operation (ATO). These deliberate actions targeted the most trained and combat-ready unit.

We see how they acted on the battlefield, and how serious these guys and girls were. Therefore, this unit, needed to be distanced from any support by partners as much as feasible. For a time, the Russians achieved this.

The existing ban was nonsense. Firstly, the leadership and personnel of these units changed. To call a military unit of the Ukrainian Armed Forces (AFU) criminal…  It would have to be like closed units such as the Wagner PMC, where there is minimal turnover and a consistent structure and morale.

Azov, being a military unit, experiences regular personnel shifts. Since discussions about the unit's alleged misconduct started, I think, more than half of the people have changed. And not only the soldiers but also the commanders. This is standard for any military unit. And what is the difference between this unit and any other unit of our AFU? It was very, very strange and very unreasonable.

Why did the verification process take so long? The American and European democratic structures, unfortunately, operate at a sluggish pace during times of conflict. However, once a decision is made, it becomes challenging to overturn.

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They have to make a decision that is practically impossible to challenge. Americans strive to minimize significant alterations in subsequent proceedings. This meticulousness leads to delays. Currently, all purported evidence of Azov's alleged criminal activities has been dismissed.

I would hope for more than just the removal of certain restrictions. Commentary should acknowledge the orchestrated propaganda campaign by the Russian Federation aimed at discrediting the National Guard's military unit, ensuring it receives appropriate attention. Understanding the origins of such actions is crucial.

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Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine