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14 Dec, 2018 11:16

Ukrainian trooper who wore Nazi SS insignia thought it was a kind of... PIRATE FLAG?!

Ukrainian trooper who wore Nazi SS insignia thought it was a kind of... PIRATE FLAG?!

An elite Ukrainian airborne trooper who was pictured wearing an emblem of a Nazi unit during a visit of the president, claims he thought the skull and bones was simply a pirate flag.

The insignia of the 3rd SS Panzer Division Totenkopf, which the soldier showed off last week on his chest next to a Ukrainian flag, is a version of the ‘death’s head’ symbol, which was used since at least the times of the Knight Templars. The Jolly Roger features it too, so we should perhaps give the benefit of the doubt to the young warrior, who may have just made a blunder in trying to connect with his inner adventurer by putting the skull and bones on his uniform.

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“I want to stress that I used it out of ignorance thinking it to be a kind of a pirate flag. I acknowledge my mistake and am prepared to take responsibility for it,” the man said in a video statement published on Thursday by Ukraine’s airborne troops, to which he belongs.

This is a ridiculously easy mistake that some Ukrainian men connected to the military or paramilitary seem to be making these days. Take, for example, Viktor Vasyanovich, a veteran featured in an exhibition produced in 2016 by a Ukrainian glamour magazine. For some reason, he wore a hoodie with the exact same insignia when giving an interview about the project.

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Of course, it later turned out that under the hoodie he had the Nazi eagle and swastika, but he probably inked it by mistake too. It could just as easily belong to an Indian ornithology association or something. Who would have thought that a couple of honest mistakes would force the organizers to withdraw his bare-chested photo when the exhibition was brought to the European Parliament?

Or take Natalia Kotskovitch, a journalist with the news channel owned by Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko. She probably didn’t know that the gesture used as a salute by Ancient Roman generals and neo-pagans had something to do with Nazism. So when she posted pictures of herself performing the salute, it must have been out of ignorance, right?

Also on rt.com Ukrainian journalist & veteran of far-right Azov Battalion caught making Nazi salute (PHOTOS)

Or take another case of striking resemblance involving Ukraine’s far-right Azov Battalion, which used several floodlights for one of its ceremonies – but that probably had nothing to do with the ‘Cathedral of Light’ arrangement used by the Nazis. Just a coincidence again?

Also on rt.com Ukraine’s right-wing Azov Battalion stages own version of Nazis’ ‘Cathedral of Light’ ceremony

In his video address, the pirate-spirited soldier and a couple of his fellow troopers say how sorry they are that his mistake helped to fuel “Russian propaganda,” spreading “lies” about the Ukrainian armed forces.

They end with a resounding “Glory to Ukraine, glory to heroes!” – a phrase recently adopted as the official slogan by the nation’s military. Sure, it may have been used by Nazi-collaborating units of Ukrainian nationalists during World War II, but why would anyone object to the modern-day use of the phrase or perceive it as having Nazi connotations? Kiev considers it patriotic and nothing more.

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