Ukrainian Neo-Nazi Visits US (Again)

Azov Regiment Press Officer Returns to DC & NYC

Ukes, Kooks & Spooks
3 min readDec 3, 2022

Last month on “Ukes Kooks & Spooks,” it was reported that Dmytro “Orest” Kozatsky, the neo-Nazi press officer of the far-right Azov Regiment, was on his way to New York City from Washington. According to organizers of the motorcade that brought him to New York, he was subsequently flying back to Ukraine. Unless he never actually left, Kozatsky is now back in the U.S., and this time, he went in the opposite direction, starting in NYC.

While in New York, Dmytro Kozatsky paid a visit to Razom for Ukraine, a charity organization that earlier this year held a controversial protest in lower Manhattan at which people chanted, “Azov! Azov! Azov!

A week ago, Kozatsky made an appearance on stage at a Ukrainian concert in New York, which ended in nationalist chants of “Glory to the Nation! Death to Enemies! Ukraine Above All!” He returned to New York for a screening of “Freedom on Fire,” a documentary he apparently stars in, at Cinema Village, “one of the oldest continuously operated art cinemas in New York City” according to its website. In doing so, Kozatsky met the famous actor Sean Penn, who attended the screening and invited those behind the movie to join him for dinner.

Kozatsky and the “Freedom on Fire” crew, including its Israeli-American director (Evgeny Afineevsky) and the wife of another Azov Regiment soldier, then traveled to Washington for the film’s DC premiere. This screening served to kick off the annual “Ukraine in Washington & Beyond” symposium held by the influential US-Ukraine Foundation in concert with the Ukrainian embassy. This event included an award ceremony, to honor the following “Stars of Ukraine”: Senator Rob Portman (R-OH), Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (D-OH), and Evgeny Afineevsky.

The “Freedom on Fire” crew in Washington displaying their Azovstal steel bracelets with Marcy Kaptur, who co-founded the Congressional Ukraine Caucus, which she still co-chairs.

Dmytro Kozatsky also attended a screening at the U.S. State Department.

Last time this blog covered Kozatsky, it prompted two individuals to protest his presence at the Doc NYC film festival in New York, which served as the U.S. premiere of “Freedom on Fire.” After several hundred thousand people learned about Kozatsky’s trip to the United States — and to a lesser extent, his neo-Nazi history on the internet (seen at the end of the video below) — the Azov Regiment photographer, soldier, and press officer published an English-language Twitter thread to offer a public apology, and an unconvincing explanation, for his offensive tweets.

According to Kozatsky, it was just his sense of “Ukrainian humor,” making “a mockery of Russian propaganda about so-called ‘Nazism in Ukraine.’” Presumably this included pointing out every time he saw the neo-Nazi code “1488,” getting a double-armed swastika tattoo on his ankle, and “liking” graffiti that said, “Death to the Yids.” In the end, Kozatsky said #SorryNotSorry, and seemed to diss yours truly as a “Russian servant” waging “an aggressive disinformation campaign” against him. “I understand these photos may have caused outrage, I want to apologize for it,” Kozatsky said, concluding, “However… I am doing everything right.” Evidently, this was good enough for most people.

Kozatsky is best known for this famous self-portrait at the Azovstal steel plant.