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Azov Brigade commander thanks US for authorizing use of US-supplied weapons

The Azov commander said that: ”the colossal combat experience that the soldiers, sergeants and officers of Azov have, combined with modern American weaponry, will become a deadly weapon for the enemies of Ukraine.”
Denys Prokopenko (middle), Lieutenant Colonel of the National Guard of Ukraine and Commander of the 12th Special Forces Brigade Azov. Photo via Eastnews.ua.
Denys Prokopenko (middle), Lieutenant Colonel of the National Guard of Ukraine and Commander of the 12th Special Forces Brigade Azov. Photo via Eastnews.ua.
Azov Brigade commander thanks US for authorizing use of US-supplied weapons

The commander of the Azov National Guard brigade, Lieutenant Colonel Denys Prokopenko, has thanked the administration of US President Joe Biden, which lifted the ban on supplying weapons to the unit.

Prokopenko published a video on Facebook in which he noted his gratitude for the decision. According to the commander, the decision can be seen as a victory of Russian propaganda.

“I want to congratulate all the fighters of the 12th Special Forces Brigade “Azov” and the entire civilized world on the victory over Russian propaganda,” the commander said.

‘Azov knows that no matter how difficult a situation may seem, there is always a solution. The only question is the effort you are prepared to put in to overcome it, the coherence of your work and the professionalism of your team,” Prokopenko stated.

In addition, Prokopenko said that ”these are qualities that Azov servicemen demonstrate on the front line every day. They were also key in our unit’s systematic work to unblock the transfer of weapons and training from the United States of America to Azov. The ban generated by Russian propaganda, which had existed since 2017, has been overcome.”

”I am grateful to the United States of America for carefully considering this issue and making the right decision, which will qualitatively strengthen our unit, and with it the entire Defense and Security Forces of Ukraine,” Prokopenko said.

Prokopenko also thanked the command of the Interior Ministry, the National Guard and the Ukrainian Embassy in the United States, as well as all those who supported Azov.

“You are all true friends of Azov, our reliable support. Azov will never forget what you have done for us in difficult times. We will justify the responsibility entrusted to us, and with our discipline, steadfastness and bravery in battle we will prove the effectiveness of this decision,” the Lieutenant Colonel said.

”The colossal combat experience that the soldiers, sergeants and officers of Azov have, combined with modern American weaponry, will be a deadly weapon for the enemies of Ukraine,” Prokopenko stated.

US weapons ban on Azov lifted

Lieutenant Colonel Denys Prokopenko has been commanding the Azov brigade since 2017, including during the defense of the encircled Ukrainian city of Mariupol in February-May 2022. The brigade has been one of Ukraine’s most effective combat units due to challenging training for recruits and a high command level.

At the same time, it has been deprived of supplies of any US-made weapons due to accusations of alleged nazism.

The accusations were conjured by Russian propaganda and not supported by evidence, let alone the fact that the brigade is part of Ukraine’s National Guard and obeys all national legislation, including the laws banning propaganda of Nazi and Soviet totalitarian ideologies.

In his statement, published on 19 April 2024, Colonel Prokopenko urged the US politicians to abandon their current policy of humiliating and blacklisting the Azov Brigade as well as abandon prejudices imposed by Russian propaganda and help achieve victory over the invading Russian troops, who are “real, non-fictional Nazis of today.”

The campaign to lift the ban has paid off, with the US Department of State clearing Azov of any limitations.

After thorough review, Ukraine’s 12th Special Forces Azov Brigade passed Leahy vetting as carried out by the US Department of State,” the agency said in a statement, referring to the “Leahy Law” that prevents US military assistance from going to foreign units credibly found to have committed major human rights violations. The State Department found “no evidence” of such violations, its statement says.

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