Since 2017, the Ukrainian government has marked March 14 as Ukrainian Volunteer Day, to commemorate the formation of the first volunteer battalion in 2014. This year, Volodymyr Zelensky held a ceremony in the White Hall of Mariinsky Palace, the official residence of the President of Ukraine, to honor various military volunteers, including some bonafide Nazis from the extreme Right Sector and Azov movements.
One of the first articles I ever wrote was about Diana Vynohradova (née Kamlyuk), “a sieg-heiling neo-Nazi decorated with white supremacist tattoos.” Zelensky awarded Vynohradova, a leading member of Right Sector, the Order of Bohdan Khmelnytsky, which was created in 1995 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the defeat of Nazi Germany in World War II. On the third day of “Euromaidan” protests that began in November 2013, Vynohradova “warned” Ukrainians “not to give in to supplications from the kikes.” According to Zaborona, a Ukrainian media outlet,
In the early 2000s, Kamlyuk and a group of friends attacked a Nigerian citizen, kicked him, and her friend stabbed him with a knife. The Nigerian died of his injuries. When asked about the reasons for the attack, Diana’s friend replied: “I don’t like Negroes.” Kamlyuk was sentenced to 4.5 years in prison. Behind bars, she wrote poems for [a neo-Nazi band], and when she was released from prison, she recited an anti-Semitic poem on the Maidan stage.
The Volunteer Ukrainian Corps (DUK), the paramilitary wing of Right Sector, formed a brigade in the Ukrainian army last year. The 67th Separate Mechanized Brigade “DUK” is now the military wing of the neofascist Right Sector. On March 14, Zelensky awarded over a hundred people from this far-right brigade, so we are just scratching the surface.
The DUK’s 2nd battalion is named after its former commander, Taras “Hammer” Bobanych, who died almost a year ago in Izyum. “Hammer” was another overt neo-Nazi in the Right Sector leadership, which plans to establish a monument for him in June. Last summer, Volodymyr Zelensky posthumously awarded Bobanych the title of Hero of Ukraine, which is the highest award that the President has to offer. The Lviv City Council then renamed a street after “Hammer.” On March 14, Zelensky presented the Hero of Ukraine award to Bobanych’s wife and father.
The DUK’s 1st battalion is named after its former commander, Dmytro “Da Vinci” Kotsuibailo, who died last month in Bakhmut. Volodymyr Zelensky decreed him a Hero of Ukraine in December 2021. “Da Vinci” might not have been a neo-Nazi (just a hardcore Banderite), but evidently his girlfriend was. Alina Mykhaylova, a deputy on the Kyiv city council, led the medical service of Kostuibailo’s battalion. A Canadian antifascist researcher (@lingerence on Twitter) found a picture of Mykhaylova wearing a Nazi Waffen-SS shirt. Zelensky also awarded her the Order of Bohdan Khmelnytsky. In return, she gave him the chevron of the “Da Vinci Wolves” worn by Kostuibailo.
The ceremony at the White Hall of Mariinsky Palace, which Zelensky has renamed the White Hall of Heroes of Ukraine, included at least a few people from the neo-Nazi Azov movement. One had the runic alphabet tattoed on his neck. Another wore a patch of what looks like a modified Tyr rune. According to Reporting Radicalism, a website supported by the US-funded Freedom House in Ukraine, “One of the most employed symbols among modern neo-Nazis, the Tyr rune is used to denote a continuation of the ‘struggle and victory’ of Nazi Germany.”
For more on the ongoing glorification of Right Sector, I suggest following @lingerence (“Elon Parody Midlife Crisis Musk”) on Twitter.