In April, the United States government sent about 300 paratroopers to Ukraine to train 900 “national guardsmen” composed in part of neo-nazis and forced conscripts in a mission called “Fearless Guardian.”
At that time, John Conyers, a founding member of the Congressional Black Caucus, introduced an amendment to ban any funding or aid to Ukraine’s government from getting into the hands of the neo-nazi Azov battalion.
It seems that along with a gigantic spending bill, Congress has now revoked this amendment under pressure from the Pentagon. Their argument is that there is already legislation, known as the Leahy law, banning the Azov battalion from receiving aid.
According to The Nation, the Leahy law cannot prevent the Azov battalion from getting US aid. In fact the law only covers groups which the “Secretary of State has credible information that such unit has committed a gross violation of human rights.” Funding to Azov cannot be blocked by the Leahy law, as the State Department has never claimed to have such information about Azov.
Furthermore, what is the point of blocking the amendment from the spending bill if they do not intend to fund Azov? It’s clear that Azov are completely accepted by the Ukrainian government, and are being trained by the US government.
Even pro-maidan publication The Daily Beast reported that a US embassy spokesperson admitted there is no way to vet Azov, saying “our vetting screens for human rights violations, not ideology.” In the article, an Azov “volunteer” remembers “his battalion’s experience with U.S. trainers and U.S. volunteers quite fondly, even mentioning U.S. volunteers engineers and medics that are still currently assisting them.”
This may be surprising to some, but to us it was predictable. In fact, Revolution News warned of the possibilities of a successful Euromaidan in advance. When you have a coalition government of neo-liberal oligarchs, far right populists, and neo-nazis – you’re going to have a bad time.