Neo-Nazi Ukrainian group prepares ‘pig-fat laden’ bullets for Muslim fighters
Ukraine's National Guard prompted outrage, on Sunday, by posting a crude video aimed at Muslim Russian fighters. Twitter eventually labelled the message "hateful content."
The reel showed a soldier dipping the tips of bullet rounds into pork fat before putting them into a magazine.
The man, who reportedly belongs to the far-right nationalist Azov Battalion, apparently meant this as a threat to religious Muslims participating in the Russian military offensive in Ukraine. Pork is considered unclean in Islam, so Muslims killed by the bullets would supposedly not be eligible to enter heaven.
The short clip was published by the official account of the Ukrainian National Guard, which embedded the Azov Battalion in 2014. The trooper doing the ritual can be heard saying: “Muslim friends, you won’t be allowed into heaven in our country.” The soldier was wearing a balaclava to conceal his face.
The threat was directed at the “Kadyrov orcs,” according to the description. Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov has highlighted the participation of troops from his home province in the Russian attack on Ukraine, posting videos of his men on social media, praising their contribution, and calling on Ukrainians to surrender.
Chechnya is a majority Muslim republic, in the south of Russia, which is renowned for the prowess of its fighters.
Using ‘pork-laced bullets’ to threaten Muslims is not a Ukrainian invention. An Idaho-based firm made headlines in 2013 by offering this type of ammo to Americans fighting Islamist terrorists.
Another product based on the same idea was gun oil that included 13% pork fat, according to its anonymous producer. There have been rumors that the Navy SEAL team that killed Osama Bin Laden used it, though it is most likely an urban myth. Watchdog organizations tracking hate speech criticized both products as obvious cases of Islamophobia.
Twitter flagged the Ukrainian video as ‘hateful content’ that violates its rules, but allowed it to remain on its platform nevertheless. “Twitter has determined that it may be in the public’s interest for the Tweet to remain accessible,” the notice said.
Russia launched the military operation against Ukraine last Thursday, claiming it to be necessary to safeguard the breakaway republics of Donetsk and Lugansk from attacks coming from Ukraine. One of the stated goals of the Russian offensive was to “denazify” Ukraine, crushing the power base of radical nationalists and their organizations, such as the Azov Battalion.