Roman Protasevich, a “journalist” from Belarus, who was reportedly part of the neo-Nazi Azov battalion and fought in the Donbass region of eastern Ukraine.
The Belarusian “journalist” (as the western media called him) Roman Protasevich is being detained by the police in Minsk after the extraordinary diversion of his Ryanair flight from Greece, denounced by some as a “state kidnapping”.
Protasevich, 26, was until November editor of the opposition channel Nexta on Telegram, founded by his dissident colleague Stepan Putilo.
Nexta and Nexta Live, used to mobilize street protests, now have nearly two million subscribers.
Protasevich faces serious charges.
He and Putilo, who goes by the name Stepan Svetlov, were included in Belarus’ list of “persons involved in terrorist activities” last year. The charge of causing mass disturbances is punishable by up to 15 years in prison.
As you will see in the following audiovisual material, more than a “journalist” this young man is a neo-Nazi who was a member of the Azov neo-Nazi battalion.
“In recent years, participants from Azov-affiliated groups have used violence against vulnerable groups in Ukrainian society and threatened public officials, and social media has been an important tool for organizing these actions and sharing their results,” Schaaf told BuzzFeed News. . “Many of these attacks are accompanied by before and after propaganda posts on social media.”
Azov started in 2014 as a volunteer military battalion that helped Ukraine defend itself against an “invasion of Russia” and its separatist forces. The battalion’s symbol is similar to that of the Wolfsangel, the insignia widely used by the German army during World War II. Although human rights groups accused the battalion of torture and war crimes during the first months of the conflict between Ukraine and Russia, in late 2014, the Ukrainian National Guard incorporated the Azov battalion into its official fold, where it was renamed the regiment. Azov: It is made up mostly of volunteers from far-right organizations and parties such as Pravy Sector, Svoboda and other organizations.