Jerusalem. – In an interview with the Ottawa native, Ephraim Zuroff, a well-known “Nazi hunter” historian and representative of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Jerusalem, said that Canada had failed to allow members of Ukrainian far-right groups to participate in training programs organized for the army of the Slavic state.
“The government of Canada did not perform due diligence,” Zuroff said. He stressed that “the Canadian Ministry of Defense is responsible for knowing exactly who is training.”
Radio Canada reported that several photos published by the Ukrainian authorities in 2020 in the framework of the UNIFIER program, launched by the Canadian government to “support the Ukrainian security forces”, testify to the presence of soldiers with the neo symbol. – Nazi Azov battalion in uniform. Badges include a Spartan helmet and a stylized “wolfsangel” symbol, as well as a patch with a yellow lion and three crowns, identical to that of the Waffen-SS 14th Division.
In response, the Defense Ministry commented that elements of the Azov battalion did not participate in the exercises, but added that the elements of the operation “do not exercise supervision over the military personnel selected to attend the training courses.”
According to Veronique Saborin, of the Canadian Armed Forces, members of the Canadian Armed Forces received the information needed to identify badges and patches associated with the far right. Meanwhile, it revealed that “there is no burden of proof on the Canadian Armed Forces to prove it beyond a reasonable doubt”.
“There is no doubt that there are neo-Nazis in Ukraine”
According to Canadian media, Canadian officials already in 2017 recognized the links between the Azov Battalion and Nazi ideology. However, the Ottawa Citizen notes that a side effect of Russia’s military operation in Ukraine has been “wider approval of Azov” in the West, with some members of the public going so far as to say the accusations against the battalion are “part of Russia’s disinformation campaign.”
For his part, Zurov noted that the relations between the Ukrainian battalion and the neo-Nazi have nothing to do with the alleged “Russian propaganda”. “There is no doubt that there are neo-Nazis in various forms in Ukraine, whether they are from the Azov Battalion or other organizations,” Zurov said. “These people are neo-Nazis. There is an extreme right-wing element in Ukraine and it is ridiculous to ignore it,” he added.
“There is no doubt that the members of the Azov Battalion are extreme right-wing extremists and they will be the first to admit it. Only because he says so [el presidente ruso, Vladímir] “Putin does not mean it is a lie,” the historian repeated on his Twitter account.
Since 2014, the Canadian government has invested more than 890 million Canadian dollars (about 705 million US dollars) in training the Slavic nation’s army under Operation UNIFIER.
Taken from RT.