In 2019, I asked Semenyaka if Azov still considered itself a revolutionary movement. Thinking about it carefully, he replied, “We are prepared for different scenarios. If Zelensky turns out to be even worse than [ex-president] Poroshenko, if he is a populist of the same type but without some of his abilities, connections and background, then of course the Ukrainians will be in grave danger. And we have already developed a plan of what can be done, how to build parallel state structures, how to customize these starting strategies to save the Ukrainian state, if [Zelensky] were to become a Kremlin stooge, for example. Because it's quite possible for that to happen."
Leading figures in Azov have been explicit, over the years, in stating that Ukraine has unique potential as a springboard for the "reconquest" of Europe from liberals, homosexuals and immigrants. While its broader continental ambitions may have a very Whatsapp Mobile Number List of success, a broken, impoverished and raging post-war Ukraine, or worse, a Ukraine suffering from years of bombing and occupation, with vast areas beyond the control of the central government, It would surely be fertile ground for a form of far-right militancy not seen in Europe for many decades.
Right now, Ukraine and Zelensky may need the military capabilities and ideological zeal of right-wing and nationalist militias to fight and win their battle for national survival. But when the war is over, both Zelensky and his Western backers must be very careful to ensure that they have not empowered groups whose goals are in direct conflict with the liberal-democratic norms they both profess to adhere to. Arming and financing Azov, Tradition and Order , and Karpatska Sich may well be one of the tough decisions the war forces, but disarming them must surely be a priority when the war is over.