• Sweden's news in English
 

Swedish neo-Nazis join fight in Ukraine

The Local · 30 Jul 2014, 15:57

Published: 30 Jul 2014 15:57 GMT+02:00

Azov is a special force of about 300 soldiers, including multiple volunteer soldiers from across Europe. The force was established by the Ukrainian government, but does not fight alongside the national army and is instead steered by ultra-nationalists.

Four Swedes are in the group. Neo-Nazi Mikael Skillt is one of them. 

"They are not fighting for a democratic Ukraine," Anton Shekhotsov, a Ukrainian political scientist who researches right extremist movements in Europe, told Sveriges Radio (SR).  "Their vision of Urkaine is a fascist dictatorship."

The squad, which wields a yellow and black flag decorated by the Wolfsangel symbol, is a powerful weapon against pro-Russian separatists. But they have their own priorities. 

The battalion's commander, Andrij Belitskij, is also the leaer of the Social-National Assembly (SNA), which lists among its goals the end of "sexual perversions and contact between races".

Skillt, a member of the neo-Nazi Party of the Swedes (Svenskarnas parti), seems to agree.

"My goal is a white Ukraine," Skillt told newspaper Svenska Dagbladet (SVD) last week. "I am a nationalist and I want there to still be white Europeans in Europe."

The Swede is originally from Sundsvall, and has been in Ukraine since February. Skillt has confirmed on social media as well as for Swedish media that he fights in the Azov battalion - and that he does so in Swedish uniform.

The Ukrainian government, however, denied that any foreigners fight in their units.

Anton Gerashenko, advisor at the Ukrainian Ministry of Home Affairs, dodged questions from Swedish media on Wednesday.

"I''ll stay tight-lipped on this one," he said to SR. "It's forbidden by law for foreign citizens to fight. You seem like a sensible person. So there is nothing more to say."

Swedish national police have also confirmed their presence.
 
"We do not know exactly how many Swedes are fighting in Ukraine, but we know there are several," police superintendent Sören Clerton told SVD.

Shekhotsov warned that the battalion may not be satisfied simply by separatist defeat. 

He reported that the SNA has been behind multiple attacks against sexual and ethnic minorities in Kiev. He also expressed concern that, although Azov may not successfully instate dictatorship, the force may still block the construction of a democratic Ukraine.

His fears seemed confirmed by Swedish soldier Skillt, who called the struggle in Ukraine a war based on race. 

"This can be the grounds for something much bigger," he told SR. "It's not impossible that the Kiev government will fall." 

The Local's attempts to contact Mikael Skillt have been unsuccessful. 

For more news from Sweden, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Swedish party in U-turn on Nato membership
Centre Party leader Annie Lööf. Photo: Maja Suslin/TT

Swedish party in U-turn on Nato membership

45 minutes ago

Sweden's opposition is moving towards a unified front on Nato membership after Centre party bosses announced they would advocate joining the defence alliance on Tuesday.

Swedish jogger praised for viral feminist post
Joakim Rosenqvist was inspired to write the post after bumping into a scared woman while out jogging. File photo: Janerik Henriksson/TT

Swedish jogger praised for viral feminist post

1 hour ago

A Swedish man has been praised for his viral Facebook post about female safety after meeting a terrified woman while out jogging.

Heavy rain warning for western parts of Sweden
Stockholmers carrying umbrellas this summer. Photo: Christine Olsson/TT

Heavy rain warning for western parts of Sweden

4 hours ago

Jump into your boots and get the umbrella out. Forecasters issued a heavy rain warning on Tuesday as it looked like autumn was on its way to Sweden – just in time to welcome the start of September.

Opinion
'Sweden should target women extremists more'
The radical Islamist Al-Shabaab group in Somalia. Photo: Mohamed Sheikh Nor/TT

'Sweden should target women extremists more'

4 hours ago

Female extremism is a growing problem in Sweden and the government should do more to prevent it, argue Jessica Katz and Katarina Tracz from the Stockholm Free World Forum.

Julian Assange
Timeline: Julian Assange sex allegations
Julian Assange following a court hearing in 2010. Photo: TT

Timeline: Julian Assange sex allegations

October 28, 2014

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange is fighting extradition to Sweden where he is facing sex assault allegations. The Local looks at the key points in his case so far.

Julian Assange
Sweden edges closer to Assange interrogation
Julian Assange with US pastor Jesse Jackson on the balcony of Ecuador's London embassy. Photo: Yui Mok/PA via AP

Sweden edges closer to Assange interrogation

5 hours ago

Sweden hopes to reach a judicial cooperation deal with Ecuador by the end of the year that would pave the way for prosecutors to question WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange over a rape allegation.

Migrant crisis
Thousands saved by Swedish rescue ship
Migrants being taken to the port of Palermo by Poseidon on August 27th. Photo: AP Photo/Alessandro Fucarini

Thousands saved by Swedish rescue ship

19 hours ago

After saving the lives of 5,295 migrants attempting to cross the Mediterranean sea during a three-month mission, Swedish rescue ship Poseidon has begun its journey home.

Russian jets spotted off Sweden's east coast
A picture of a Russian TU-22 jet taken at another occasion. Photo: AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin

Russian jets spotted off Sweden's east coast

20 hours ago

UPDATED: Swedish military identified and followed two Russian TU-22 fighter planes escorted by a pair of SU-27 aircraft flying east of the island of Gotland on Monday morning.

Video
Swedes show world how to eat fermented herring
Screengrab: Höga Kusten Destinationsutveckling AB/YouTube

Swedes show world how to eat fermented herring

1 day ago

A fermented herring expert has teamed up with a Swedish tourism company to show the world how surströmming is supposed to be eaten in response to a BuzzFeed video in which Americans turn their noses up at the Swedish delicacy.

Chinese firm in bid to build Swedish railway
China Railway Construction's chief engineer Xu Keliang. Photo: News Øresund

Chinese firm in bid to build Swedish railway

22 hours ago

A Chinese company has made an offer to build a planned Swedish high-speed railway in record time and at a much lower price than previously estimated, Swedish media has reported.

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS

Gallery
People-watching: August 28th-30th
National
'Sweden Democrats will run the country'
National
Swedish bin men hailed as heroes after rescuing doomed kitten
National
This Swedish teen was told she was 'too big' to be a model
Lifestyle
Six reasons to stay outdoors this week
Blog updates

28 August

Editor’s blog, August 28th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hello readers, It was all glitz and glamour in Sweden this week as Stockholm Fashion Week got..." READ »

 

18 August

Preteritum eller presens perfekt? (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hello everyone, It’s grammar time ! I got an interesting question about the past tense vs present..." READ »

 
 
 
Sponsored Article
'It gives you the guts to believe in yourself'
Gallery
People-watching: August 26th
Sponsored Article
Nine places where Stockholm needs more English
National
Rescued baby lemur gets new Stockholm home
National
Stockholm Fashion Week turns island into Mars
Gallery
Property of the week: Stora Essingen, Stockholm
National
Swedish crayfish thieves caught red handed by officers
National
Veil soon to be lifted on new Millennium sequel novel
Gallery
People-watching: August 21st - 22nd
Cecilia Larsson Lantz/imagebank.sweden.se
Presented by Stockholm Academic Forum
International students welcomed to Stockholm
National
The Bridge: What does the third season have in store?
National
Lucky escape for Swedes after 'dead' bear launches attack
National
Syrian asylum seeker comic: 'We don't prefer Sweden any more'
National
Are anti-immigration nationalists really now Sweden's biggest party?
Lifestyle
Baby joy for Swedish crime queen and her wrestler boyfriend
National
Soldier accused of faking first Isis attack in Sweden
National
Fire alert as Sweden sizzles in summer heatwave
Gallery
People-watching: August 19th
National
Meet the Swede who is crazy for Norway’s mass killer
National
Swede's review of night in drunk tank goes viral
National
VIDEO: Swedish teen melts hearts with this incredible Idol audition
Society
What's a Swedish crayfish party?
National
UN: Sweden can't be left to shoulder migrant crisis alone
Gallery
Property of the week: Skogås, Huddinge
National
Men outstrip women for first time
Society
IN PICTURES: Wooden town resembles 'war zone' after huge fire
Gallery
People-watching: August 14th-16th
Sport
Swedish referee shuts viral Facebook page explaining his decisions
Business & Money
A studio in Stockholm or a castle in the countryside?
National
How did twelve skeletons end up beneath a Swedish castle?
Pharmacy to launch plasters for darker skin in anti racism drive
Gallery
People-watching: August 12th
National
TIMELINE: Everything you need to know about the Julian Assange case
National
Millennium sequel author labelled 'grave robber'
National
Two metre long python stops traffic in Malmö
National
IN PICTURES: Shoppers pay tribute to Ikea stabbing victims
Technology
Danish 'monster' pulled out of Swedish waters
National
Bizarre baby baptism for hockey fan
Gallery
Property of the week: Löderup, Ystad
National
Sunshine brightens up Sweden
Sponsored Article
Getting pregnant the Swedish way
Sponsored Article
Outsourcing drives Apreel's Europe growth
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

3,200
jobs available
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
psdmedia.se