DISINFO: Americans and Canadians trained Nazi battalions in Ukraine
Nazi/Fascist War in Ukraine Azov Battalion

DISINFO: Americans and Canadians trained Nazi battalions in Ukraine


During the [Ukrainian] Civil War, the Nazis formed a number of battalions. This time, a group of American and Canadian trainers from NATO trained these battalions, which were involved, as in World War II, with various forms of torture and atrocities, according to the testimonies of international human rights organizations.


This is a recurring pro-Kremlin narrative trying to portray Ukraine as a Nazi state and claiming that 'Ukrainian Nazis' are supported by Western countries. The article provides no evidence to substantiate these claims.

Although the article does not mention when and where the alleged training took place, it probably refers to the Azov Battalion, which is a small 1000-men far-right military group. It is for their extreme ideology that the US and Canada have committed to blocking training to them.

In fact, the US House of Representative passed a bill in 2015 to prevent the supply of arms, training or any form of assistance to the Azov Battalion. The bill "prohibits funds provided by this bill from being used to provide arms, training, or other assistance to the Azov Battalion".

Congressman John Conyers Jr. said in response to the House of Representative's unanimous decision to support this bill: "I am grateful that the House of Representatives unanimously passed my amendments last night to ensure that our military does not train members of the repulsive neo-Nazi Azov Battalion, along with my measures to keep the dangerous and easily trafficked MANPADs out of these unstable regions."

Generally speaking, far-right groups enjoyed a very limited presence during the Euromaidan itself and had poor results in the 2014 presidential and parliamentary elections. The "Right Sector" candidate received 0.7% of the vote in the May 2014 presidential elections, and the party received 1.8% of the vote in the October 2014 parliamentary elections. In the 2019 election cycle, far-right candidates fell short of the 5% minimum guaranteeing entry into parliament.

This disinformation claim appeared in the same article as the claim that Canada's Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland is a Nazi sympathiser and that the 2014 coup turned Ukraine into a Nazi state.


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Cases in the EUvsDisinfo database focus on messages in the international information space that are identified as providing a partial, distorted, or false depiction of reality and spread key pro-Kremlin messages. This does not necessarily imply, however, that a given outlet is linked to the Kremlin or editorially pro-Kremlin, or that it has intentionally sought to disinform. EUvsDisinfo publications do not represent an official EU position, as the information and opinions expressed are based on media reporting and analysis of the East Stratcom Task Force.

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