Grandmother Pictured Preparing For War In Ukraine Was Being Trained By Far-Right Paramilitary Group

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Grandmother Pictured Preparing For War In Ukraine Was Being Trained By Far-Right Paramilitary Group

A picture taken just under a week ago of a Ukrainian grandmother learning to use an AK-47 assault rifle in preparation for a possible Russian invasion of Ukraine was being trained by an extreme-right paramilitary group known for links to neo-Nazism, that is according to UK newspaper the Daily Mail.


The image of 79-year-old, Valentyna Konstantynovska, has been used on newspaper front pages across the world amid simmering tensions in Eastern Europe. Many were inspired that a woman of her age would be willing to fight for her nation's independence against potential incursions. However, few realised the organisation behind the training program.


The Azov Battalion was formed in 2014 after the uprising in Russian majority regions of Ukraine that demanded independence. They wear as a symbol the Wolfsangel, the same symbol as the Nazi 2nd SS Panzer Division Das Reich. They have been accused of attacks on Roma communities and LGBTQ individuals.


The original commander of the battalion was Andriy Biletsky who said the goal of Ukraine was to:


"Lead the white races of the world in a final crusade … against Semite [Jewish] -led Untermenschen [subhumans]."


The group has been involved in fighting in Eastern Ukraine since 2014 which has led to the deaths of over 14,000 people.


The US State Department has a ban on the organisation, and it has been removed from Facebook as an extremist group.


Ms Konstantynovska has stated she did not know the political leanings of the group and simply wanted military training to defend herself and her nation. She said:


"I am ready to shoot if something happens. I will defend my home, my city, my children. I will do this because I think I'm ready for it. I don't want to lose my country, my city."


An Azov commander told Al Jazeera:


"We can't stick our head in the sand because it's irresponsible at best, so we organised this event today specifically to take responsibility on our own shoulders. The civilians here are our responsibility and they need to know we will stand here to the last drop of blood. We will stand by our land until we die."


While the Azov battalion is prominent, the far-right achieves minimal electoral support in Ukraine and other far-right groups have pledge their allegiance to the Russian government in the past.


It is hoped that a diplomatic solution can be found to the ongoing crisis and that a war of extreme proportions can be avoided.


[Based on reporting by: The Daily Mail]


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Thinking Humanity: Grandmother Pictured Preparing For War In Ukraine Was Being Trained By Far-Right Paramilitary Group
Grandmother Pictured Preparing For War In Ukraine Was Being Trained By Far-Right Paramilitary Group
A picture taken just under a week ago of a Ukrainian grandmother learning to use an AK-47 assault rifle in preparation for a possible Russian invasion
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https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/img/a/AVvXsEgVAMd1oEsfDTm5S8R-VZ8Heb9yG38spB0LskmJXRZ0dLduLvH1-s46ZFL9sMoBDwEVya1b4ZdiF06AejwWjyL2p1f0kZQ84KgZivXcbsMWr8Ns38_a7oRxpSuV51JvYcMFPqsNQCyJnoUAUmOs33Uv7xpksghpKCoNHPDaEB1anyJGGr4rlRRmTJOL2A=s72-c
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