Ukrainian neo-Nazis rejoice over brutally killed opposition activists, wish fate to all ‘traitors’
A Ukrainian officer who once commanded the notorious neo-Nazi Azov regiment has taken to social media to delight in graphic photos of deceased members of an opposition party. Activists “faded away” from the Ukrainian city of Severodonetsk in early March and appear to have been extrajudicially executed, with Maksim Zhorin hinting that such a fate awaits all “traitors”.
“This is what Severodonetsk ‘Patriots for Life’ looks like now,” Zhorin said in a telegram [warning: Graphic images] post Wednesday. “They disappeared on March 7, and now their new photos have appeared. They look like this,” he added with a smiley face emoji.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if the investigation finds that they shot themselves in the head – when they realized how stupid they were when they went to cooperate with [Ilya] Kiva”, he added, referring to the Ukrainian MP who fled to Russia in January.
kyiv prosecutors had charged Kiva, an outspoken critic of President Volodymyr Zelensky, with treason on March 6, the day before the activists disappeared. He had fled the country after being expelled by his party, “Opposition Platform – For Life.”
That didn’t stop the party, and nearly a dozen others, from being temporarily banned by Zelensky on March 20. A law authorizing permanent bans was passed on May 14.
Zhorin’s message showed the badly disfigured faces of three men and one woman, in body bags. They appear to have been extrajudicially and cruelly executed, the Telegram channel said. “Witch hunt,” who first drew attention to the post of the head of Azov.
Ukraine is “not even medieval, it’s ISIS,” added the chain, in reference to the terrorist group Islamic State (IS), known for its savage beheadings of prisoners.
Severodonetsk became the seat of Ukrainian military administration for the disputed Donetsk region in the east of the country. It is a major stronghold of troops loyal to kyiv and is currently the scene of heavy fighting with Russian and Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) troops.
Zhorin is not just any member of Azov, a notorious Ukrainian militia that adopted Nazi iconography. He joined them in 2014, at the very beginning of the unrest in Ukraine, and actually commanded the unit from August 2016 to September 2017, although his rank in the Ukrainian National Guard was only first lieutenant.
His official biography states that Zhorin took part in the capture of Mariupol and Marinka and survived the 2014 defeat at Ilovaisk. In October 2017, he established the Kharkov regional branch of Azov’s political wing, the National Corps, and became a member of the party’s central committee in January 2020.