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16 May, 2024 16:08

Germany reveals expulsion of Nazi symbol Ukrainian soldiers

The authorities say that troops sent to train in the country are warned on arrival against wearing such insignias
Germany reveals expulsion of Nazi symbol Ukrainian soldiers

The German government revealed on Wednesday that it has expelled seven Ukrainian troops undergoing military training in the country for sporting Nazi symbols. Berlin, however, attempted to downplay the potential threat posed by Ukrainian far-right nationalists to any future peace process between Kiev and Moscow. 

According to the German military’s estimates, “around 10,000 Ukrainian soldiers were trained by German and multinational units on German soil in 2023.” Under the European Union Military Assistance Mission Ukraine (EUMAM UA) established in November 2022, German instructors and those from several other member states have trained Ukrainian military personnel. 

In a reply to an inquiry made by the right-wing Alternative for Germany Party (AFD), the German government wrote that “within the framework of training for the Ukrainian armed forces conducted by the Bundeswehr, seven cases have been established where soldiers were wearing far-right extremist symbols.”  

The document further revealed that these troops had been removed from the course and sent home.   

Incoming Ukrainian military personnel are warned against the use of Nazi insignias on arrival, the German government said.   

The reply noted that Berlin “sees no threat to a possible peace process in Ukraine [posed] by Ukrainian extremist nationalists.”  

“It is Russia’s imperialism that underlies the illegal Russian war of aggression against Ukraine, and that threatens security in Europe,” the document said.   

Upon the launch of Russia’s military operation against the neighboring state in February 2022, President Vladimir Putin listed the “denazification” of Ukraine as one of Moscow’s main goals. Russian officials have for years expressed concern over the growing role of far-right elements within the Ukrainian government and military. 

Moscow has also claimed that some units within Kiev’s army are made up almost exclusively of neo-Nazis. 

Ukraine’s glorification of WWII-era nationalist partisans who collaborated with Nazi Germany, as well as Ukrainian SS units, has also been condemned not only by Russia, but also neighboring Poland. 

Despite these criticisms, monuments to honor these figures continue to be erected across Ukraine, with streets renamed after them in some cases as well.

 

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