Recruitment of Ukraine’s “Child Soldiers” Financed by US “Nonlethal” Military Aid?
Unknown to most Americans, the US government is channeling financial support, weapons and training to a Neo-Nazi entity –which is part of The Ukraine National Guard– The Azov Battalion (Батальйон Азов). Canada and Britain have confirmed that they also are providing support to the National Guard.
The Azov Battalion -which “officially” displays the Nazi SS emblem– (below left) is described by the Kiev regime as “a volunteer battalion of territorial defense”. It’s a National Guard battalion under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the equivalent of America’s Homeland Security.
Officially based in Berdyank on the Sea of Azov, the Azov battalion was formed by the regime to fight the opposition insurgency in the Donbass region. (Eastern and Southern Ukraine).
Military Training of Young Children to fight the Russians
The Azov battalion supported by its Western partners is not only involved in para-military operations in Eastern Ukraine. According to reports including the Kyiv Post (Ukraine mainstream media), it is running a Summer Camp military training project for young children as part of its broader training and indoctrination program.
According to RT:
“The camp was established to show the children that there are things in life besides school and mobile devices and to “give them our love,” Oleksii, a platoon commander in the Azov battalion and instructor at the camp, told Ukrainian ICTV channel. “One has to be strong; has to be courageous to defend the territorial integrity of our motherland,” he added.” (RT report)
Western media sources (quoted by the Kyiv Post) confirm that children as young as six years old (see images below) are participating in the Azov Summer Camp located in the Vodytsya district outside Kyiv.
The Kyiv Post –which blames the Western media for its biased coverage– nonetheless acknowledges the diabolical nature of the military training project:
… this particular camp is run by the Azov Battalion founded by lawmaker Andriy Biletsky, its former commander. Located in the wooded area of Kyiv’s Pushcha Vodytsya district, kids at this summer camp aren’t just playing soldiers – they’re getting actual military training from soldiers who have fought on the front line in Russia’s war against Ukraine.
Named Azovets, the camp has been the subject of negative coverage in the Russian media, pro-Russia websites and even U.K. tabloid The Daily Mail.
“Neo-Nazi summer camp: Ukrainian kids taught to shoot AKs by Azov battalion members (PHOTOS),” reads Kremlin-controlled RT’s headline for its story about the camp.
“Shocking pictures from inside neo-Nazi military camp reveal recruits as young as SIX are being taught how to fire weapons (even though there’s a ceasefire),” reads the headline in the Daily Mail’s sensationalized and inaccurate article. (Kiev Post, August 29, 2015)
While the Kiev regime denies that Azov is a Neo-Nazi entity, the logos of both the Azov batallion as well as the Avovets Summer Camp (displayed on the Summer Camp T shirts) bear the symbol of the Nazi SS Wolfsangel with shadows of “the Nazi Black Sun” in the background.
Recruitment of Child Soldiers
The Summer Camp training program constitutes the first stage of the recruitment of child soldiers in derogation of international law.
Invariably, the recruitment of child soldiers implies a training program which familiarizes young children with the use of light automatic weapons.
The military trainers are part of the Azov paramilitary dispatched to the Summer Camp (see the Nazi SS insignia on his uniform below):
The Kyiv Post article describes in detail the nature of the “Neo-Nazi Summer Camp”. What the reports confirm is that an entity under the jurisdiction of Ukraine’s National Guard (financed by the Ukraine Ministry of internal Affairs) is training and indoctrinating small children in the art of warfare:
The Azovets summer camp accepts children of Azov Battalion members, as well as kids from Kyiv’s nearby Obolon district and further afield. It opened on June 22, runs weeklong programs of activities for groups of 30 to 40 kids. Officially, it is for children aged from nine to 18, but there are kids as young as seven there. A few of the kids had already attended it for several weeks in a row.
What makes the camp most controversial is that it’s run by Azov fighters, some of whom have been labeled as far-right supporters and neo-Nazis. Critics say the battalion’s symbol is an inverted Wolfsangel that has oblique but uncomfortable associations with Nazism.
In previous interviews with Ukrainian media, Biletsky says the symbolism is misunderstood. The letters “N” and “I” make up Azov’s insignia, which he says stand for “national idea.”
Biletsky founded a neo-Nazi group in Ukraine called the Social-National Assembly, and there certainly are neo-Nazis among the battalion’s ranks, some sporting Nazi tattoos. Some media have reported that up to 20 percent of Azov’s fighters are neo-Nazis, though the battalion’s press officers are always at pains to emphasize that Azov, as a military formation, does not share the ideology of its founder Biletsky, or indeed have any ideology other than fervent patriotism.
When the Kyiv Post visited the Azovets camp on Aug. 19 the kids were busy with a range of activities, including stripping down and assembling AK-47 assault rifles, target practice (with air guns), tackling assault courses, and practicing combat poses and patrolling. They also take part in various sports and games, do rappelling and climbing, and practice other more traditional scouting and woodcraft skills like tying knots.
“I’ve been here only for three days, but I’ve realized that it’s not a camp where you just play games. We’re getting military training here,” one of the kids at the camp told the Kyiv Post.
Out in the forest next to the camp, a group of kids was getting some weapons safety advice from an Azov trainer.
“Do you know what would happen if you kept your fingers on the trigger? If it were a real gun, you could kill your comrades. So, don’t do it!” the trainer barks.
“Yes sir!” the kids answer.
The children then practice medically evacuating wounded soldiers from the battlefield.
The militaristic atmosphere at the camp, including strict discipline, has plainly influenced some of the children.
“I got my hair cut really short yesterday,” says one boy. “Just because I want it. I look more like a soldier now.”
Two older kids, who, like many of the children at the camp, have taken noms de guerre (Medic and Physicist) in imitation of Ukraine’s real soldiers, said they now wanted to join the Azov Battalion.
“I want to defend my homeland. There are comrades who support my idea. I think that if it’s necessary, I will fight,” 17-year old Physicist told the Kyiv Post.
The children at the camp are organized into four groups, depending on their age, with each group overseen by a trainer and caregiver. The camp’s day starts early, at 7 a.m. sharp, and ends at 11 p.m. The children sleep in tents.
Access to Azov’s own website and supporting websites was closed off to the public last September when the battalion was integrated into the National Guard of Ukraine, but the camp has a page on the Russian social network Vkontakte (https://vk.com/tabir.azovec) where it is promoted, and where people can apply to become volunteers, or contact the camp to send their children there.
“The Mission of the Camp: To form the Ukrainian of a new era – a patriot, who is ready to actively participate in building and defending Ukraine,” the page’s description reads.
The military-patriotic songs that the children sing every day as a part of the camp’s program do seem to be one of the more popular activities for the kids. Late at night, sitting around a blazing campfire, they belt out their favorites – patriotic songs dating back to Ukraine’s previous struggles for independence in the early- to mid-20th century.
The Kyiv Post listened to the words of one of the songs. Its lyrics were about Ukrainian soldiers defeating their enemies.
Today that enemy is Russia. A boy who sits on a log softly whispers: “I want that this war will end and we will kill all the Russians.” (Kyiv Post, August 29, 2015, emphasis added)
US Military Aid
This diabolical endeavor, which incites hate by innocent children against ethnic Russians as well as opponents of the Kiev regime is broadly supported by US military aid channelled to the Ukraine National Guard via the Ministry of Internal Affairs. The MIA coordinates the “anti-terrorism operation” (ATO) in Donbass.
While the US Congress has adopted amendments to its “Department of Defense Appropriations Act of 2015.” to block the training of the Azov battalion’s Neo-Nazis, in practice the money trickles down.
Moreover, in addition to military aid channelled under the jurisdiction of the Pentagon, the California National Guard has established a partnership with the Ukraine National Guard, which includes the Azov Battalion:
“The California–Ukraine State Partnership Program (SPP) Mission [under the auspices of the California National Guard] is to promote democracy, free market economies and military reform, by establishing long-term institutional affiliations … The California – Ukraine partnership directly supports both the goals of the US Ambassador to Ukraine and Commander, U.S. European Command. … (Office of Defense Cooperation (ODC), Chief: LTC Tracey D. Rueschhoff)
Scroll down for Selected Images of the Azov Battalion “Freedom Fighters”
These are the people who are training Ukrainian kids to handle AK 47s at the Neo-Nazi Summer Camp. Its all for a good cause: “the flowering of democracy” in the words the New York Times.