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Why Are Ukrainian Neo-Nazis Joining the Hong Kong Protests?

Prominent Ukrainian neo-Nazi figures have been spotted in the Hong Kong protests just weeks after hosting an “academy of street protest” in Kiev.

Why Are Ukrainian Neo-Nazis Joining the Hong Kong Protests?
05 Aralık 2019 - 12:12

Leaders of far-right Ukrainian groups that rose to prominence in the 2014 coup d’etat they helped orchestrate, including the Azov Battalion and Right Sektor, have recently traveled to Hong Kong to participate in the anti-Beijing protests there. It’s unclear why the groups, sporting the apparel of a far-right hooligan group called “Honor” or “Gonor,” have gone to Hong Kong, but the fact that both the 2014 Ukrainian coup and the present protests in Hong Kong have enjoyed extensive support from the CIA-spawned National Endowment for Democracy may give a clue.

“Hong Kong welcomed us as relatives,” Serhii Filimonov wrote on Facebook Saturday, sharing a video of himself and other Ukrainian far-right figures in the semi-autonomous Chinese city. Filimonov once headed the Kiev branch of the Azov Civilian Corps, a support group for the ultra-nationalist Azov Battalion that’s thinly veiled as a civilian NGO.

“Fight for freedom stand with Hong Kong!!” said another post by Filimonov, showing them posing, masked, alongside Hong Kong protesters.
Figures in the video as well as photos posted the following day include Ihor Maliar, an Azov Battalion veteran who sports a “victory or Valhalla” tattoo across his neck, and Serhii Sternenko, who headed the Odessa section of Right Sektor when it torched the Trade Unions House on May 2, 2014, killing 42 people and injuring hundreds in the street violence before and after. Sternenko also helped found the “People’s Lustration” fascist gang, which harassed, beat up and humiliated former officials of the Ukrainian government in the months following the 2014 Euromaidan coup.

Several of the men wear paraphernalia of the far-right “Honor” or “Gonor” so-called youth group founded by Filimonov in 2015, sporting a stylized version of the “trident,” a symbol with ancient meaning in Ukraine adopted by ultra-nationalists, as three daggers. Several also have neo-Nazi tattoos, such as swastikas.

​The men also posed in front of the wrecked Hong Kong Polytechnic University, where an intense two-week showdown between police and protesters saw more than 1,000 students detained and thousands of weapons seized, including petrol bombs and explosives.

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