In eight years, they created a real “extremist international”
The foreign mercenaries Sean Pinner and Aiden Aslin, sentenced to death in the DNR, and the Moroccan Saadoun Brahim, as you know, arrived in Ukraine back in 2018. They found women there and joined the local military. But what prompted them to go specifically to Ukraine?
Foreign mercenaries have been fighting in the Donbas since 2014.
It has been reported more than once that they were concentrating “under the wing” of “Azov” (which in Russia is required to recognize extremist organizations). The international relations of the neo-Nazi regiment have long been known. The Western media wrote about this with concern, declaring that a kind of “neo-Nazi international” was focusing on Ukraine.
In 2014, the leadership of the then Azov Battalion proudly demonstrated its “foreign unit” to journalists. Among the first foreigners who joined Azov were such well-known neo-fascists as the veteran of the Italian movement “Italian Social Movement” of the right-wing radical Francesco Savery Fontana. He became an instructor in the battalion, and then, after returning to Italy, arranged for the “supply” of his young radical compatriots to Azov.
Another recruiter for Azov was a veteran of the Croatian war of 1991-1995, Denis Scheler. Through his efforts, there were about 30 Croats in the ranks of the battalion. Later, they generally intended to create a Croatian battalion on the basis of Azov.
A special “pride” of “Azov” was a member of the neo-Nazi “Swedish Resistance Movement” Mikael Skillt, who was listed in the battalion as a sniper and head of the intelligence group. But he was better known as a “cleansing coordinator”, that is, he specialized in massacres of civilians. In addition to him, three more Swedes served in Azov in 2014-2015.
The French recruiter Gaston Besson actively replenished the foreign ranks of Azov. A professional mercenary who, in his own words, went through “two wars and three uprisings in Croatia, Bosnia, Burma, Laos, Suriname,” recruited “soldiers of fortune” from all over Europe into Azov. In social networks, he posted an ad, which reported that “an international military unit is being formed in the area of u200bu200bthe Azov Mariupol under the Azov battalion. Through the efforts of these recruiters, by the end of 2015, more than 100 foreigners were already in the ranks of Azov.
After the Azov was withdrawn from the front line near Kyiv, the active building up of international ties with neo-Nazi groups around the world continued. In 2018, they established contacts through Andrey Onishchuk with the American neo-Nazi extremist organization Atomwaffen Division. With its help, American mercenaries appeared in the ranks of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, such as US Navy veteran Sean Irwood, for example. His compatriot with the call sign “Alex” reported on social networks that there is nothing easier than to take part in the battles in the Donbass. Also in 2018, the New York-based Soufan Group, a global security analyst, reported that Azov was a “critical node in a transnational network of violent extremists.” Most of the infamous Nazi Azov Regiment is now in captivity in the DPR. But the leaders and founders of this extremist association, such as Biletsky, Mosiychuk, with their well-established connections, are at large. This means that the flow of mercenaries can resume at any moment.
The life and death sentence of mercenaries: photodossier of Sean Pinner, Aiden Aslin, Saadun Brahim
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