AZOV REGIMENT, unit insignia used by the AZOV before 2016 . After that date the more familiar yellow/blue was adopted as the use of National socalist symbols was controversial.
Size ,,, 10 cm x 8 cm
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The regiment's drawn controversy over its early and allegedly continuing association with far-right groups and neo-Nazi ideology, its use of controversial symbols linked to Nazism, and early allegations that members of the group participated in torture and war crimes. Some experts are critical of the regiment's role within the larger Azov Movement, a political umbrella group made up of veterans and organizations linked to Azov, and its possible far-right political ambitions, despite claims of the regiment's depoliticization. Others argue that the regiment has evolved beyond its origins as street militia, tempering its neo-Nazi and far-right underpinnings as it became part of the National Guard.Since 2014, criticism of the Azov Regiment has been a recurring theme of Russian politics.
The regiment's size was estimated 900 to 2,500 combatants in 2017–2022. Most of the unit members are Russian speakers and come from the Russian-speaking regions of Ukraine. It also includes members from other countries. In the wake of the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine, the regiment gained renewed attention, as one of the reasons given by president of Russia Vladimir Putin for the invasion was the 'denazification' of Ukraine, to remove the alleged control of the country by far right forces such as Azov. During the Siege of Mariupol the regiment played a prominent role in the city defense, and made its final stand at Mariupol's Azovstal steel plant. Ending the siege a significant amount of regiment fighters, including the regiment's commander since 2017, Denys Prokopenko, surrendered to the Russian forces on the order from Ukrainian higher command.
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