KYIV—When Deputy Secretary of State George Kent spoke at the U.S. House of Representatives impeachment hearings this week, he painted a powerful picture of Ukrainian bravery in the face of Russian aggression.

In 2014, when “Russia invaded Ukraine” and occupied 7 percent of its territory, Ukraine’s state institutions were “on the verge of collapse,” he said. But “Ukrainian civil society answered the challenge. They formed volunteer battalions of citizens, including technology professionals and medics. They crowd-sourced funding for their own weapons, body armor, and supplies. They were the 21st century Ukrainian equivalent of our own Minutemen in 1776, buying time for the regular army to reconstitute.”

But Kent most likely did not have in mind the most famous—and infamous—of those volunteer units, the Azov Battalion, which 40 members of Congress have asked the State Department to designate as a Foreign Terrorist Organization. Some of its members are neo-Nazis, white supremacists and avowed anti-Semites.

Are the Azov fighters, in fact, “Minutemen” or monsters, freedom fighters or terrorists? Or in some cases both?

Angry demonstrations here in Kyiv about those congressional efforts to get Azov declared an “FTO” suggest just how complicated and treacherous the political and military landscape has become in this nation fighting for survival.

It is another factor—along with the extortionate, allegedly impeachable games played by the Trump administration—weakening the position of President Volodymyr Zelinsky as he struggles to achieve an equitable peace with Putin.

Read More at The Daily Beast

Author Details
Gordon Duff is a Marine combat veteran of the Vietnam War. He is a disabled veteran and has worked on veterans and POW issues for decades. Gordon is an accredited diplomat and is generally accepted as one of the top global intelligence specialists. He manages the world’s largest private intelligence organization and regularly consults with governments challenged by security issues.

Duff has traveled extensively, is published around the world and is a regular guest on TV and radio in more than “several” countries. He is also a trained chef, wine enthusiast, avid motorcyclist and gunsmith specializing in historical weapons and restoration. Business experience and interests are in energy and defense technology.

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  1. Is that a rhetorical question Gordon? This is why the impeachment hearings is such a clown especially with clowns like Secretary of State George Kent supporting a bunch of inveterate Nazis and having the audacity to call them “freedom fighters”. Just too ironic! Reminds me of Reagan saying the same thing about the blood soaked Contras.

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