Despite efforts to remove them from the platform, the Ukrainian gang on the right is He connects with white American officials is using Facebook to recruit new members, plan violence, and spread his right ideas around the world.
Despite that banned the Azov group and its leaders more than a year ago, Facebook continues to benefit from ads recently launched by the right-wing organization on Monday.
As of July, Azov, the first to attack Russia in 2014, launched a dozen Facebook pages. Alla Zasyadko, a 25-year-old member, has used one to post 82 ads on social media, paying Facebook about $ 3,726, according to the advertising library on the platform. Many advertisements require street protests against the Ukrainian government. One of the advertisements encourages children to enroll in youth-oriented education. Same education They have also included firearms training.
Zasyadko did not respond to a request for comment.
A Facebook spokesman told BuzzFeed News, “Azov Battalion is banned from our platforms and we remove any representation, praise or support when we are notified.”
At the time of writing, Azov’s main Facebook page, called the Ukrainian Corps – the same name as the political party, the National Corps – was still active.
Facebook has been widely criticized for allowing U.S. right-wing forces to form an alliance with go to ads on the platform. Some of these groups volunteered violence during a Black Lives Matter demonstration, encouraged civil war, and allegedly conspiring against him stealing and killing elected political leaders. Facebook He said last month it removed thousands of pages and groups bound to “military bases.” Many of those pages and groups have been removed BuzzFeed News brought them to Facebook.
But moving right-wing extremists off of social networking sites has been difficult, many of which re-emerge within days or weeks after being removed.
Facebook banned the Azov group, which has a large number of members who promote Nazi religious beliefs, in April 2019. The company removed several pages related to the group, including those run by its superiors and various branches it leads.
But since July 16, the group has been using the new Ukrainian Corps website. The site does not attempt to conceal that it belongs to the Azov National Corps – it clearly outlines dealings with National Corps leaders, links to Azov websites and e-mails, and sends photos of members in uniform during meetings and fire trips.
Facebook has no reason to be unaware that Azov’s movement is dangerous. As a result of several violent protests against Roma and LGBTQ throughout Ukraine by members of the National Corps and its armed forces, the National Militia, US State department name Azov of the National Corps was a “hostile group.”
Matthew Schaaf, head of Ukraine’s Human Rights Office and overseeing the group, said Azov’s failure to mobilize people through media was a threat to the public.
“Over the past few years, members of the Azov alliance have used violence against high-risk groups in Ukraine and intimidated government officials, with journalists being an important tool in preparing this and sharing their results,” Schaaf told BuzzFeed News. “Much of what they do is followed by the false stories they told before or after the TV show.”
Azov started in 2014 as a dedicated military force that helped Ukraine defend itself against Russian attacks by a separatist military. The battalion symbol is similar to that of Wolfsangel, a symbol used by the German army during World War II. Although human rights groups oppose the battalion torture and war crimes in the early months of the war between Ukraine and Russia, in late 2014, the Ukrainian National Guard incorporated the Azov army into their stronghold, which they called the Azov group.
The military has become a staunch supporter of the Kremlin government, with Russian President Vladimir Putin using the group to justify its Ukrainian insurgency as an anti-fascism movement. Although the movement is not well-known in Ukraine, its political affiliations are Nazi. In 2010, the founder of the military, Andriy Biletsky, He said that Ukraine should “lead the pure white nations at the end of the cross … against Untermenschen led by Semite [subhumans]. ”
Biletsky could not be reached for comment.
While the regiment is still looking for Biletsky to strengthen him, he has moved into politics; he served as a member of the Ukrainian parliament from 2014 to 2019 but could not make a choice. He is now leading a National Corps party, which has not been successful in getting members elected but is using media methods to try to expand support. He is one of the founders of the Intermarium, which builds white and Nazi bridges in Western Europe and the US.
Although Facebook removed the Intermarium pages, a new Intermarium page was created on Sept. 9. Directed by the National Secretary of the National Corps, Olena Semenyaka, has been sharing news and information on the right and right of the Nazis in Europe and promoting “cultural” events at its Kyiv office.
After being banned, Semenyaka also fraudulently opened Facebook and Instagram accounts.
Semenyaka did not respond to a request for comment.
Thanks to the news media, the National Corps has infiltrated Western groups, including California. Get Up on the Journey, whose members took part in 2017’s Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, but saw the crimes they committed later fell. In April 2018, RAM founder Robert Rundo traveled to Kyiv and took part in the Azov project fighting stick. In October, the FBI wrote that it believed Azov would play a “role in educating and establishing morally clean organizations in the United States.”
Last month, Ukraine has expelled two American Nazis affiliated with the US Atomwaffen Division who tried to establish a local branch with Azov fighters to find “the war.”
Azov is using Facebook to grow beyond Ukraine’s borders, experts say. “The use of violence and the possibility of being able to mobilize a large number of young people, especially those who are ready to resort to violence, are all supported by social media,” Schaaf said, “empowering them.”