Azov Movement

The Azov Movement is the largest far-right association in Ukraine. It consists of three main structures: the **Azov Regiment** of the National Guard of Ukraine (the military wing), the **National Corps** party (the political wing) and the **National Vigilantes**, renamed as **Centuria** in 2020 (the street militia wing). The movement involves up to 20,000 members, including 1.5 thousand members of the Azov Regiment (however, not all members of the regiment are ultra-right).

The** Azov Regiment** was created in the spring of 2014. It is the only radically politicized unit which is officially part of the Ukrainian security forces. Its core group are Kharkiv ultra-rightists from the Social National Assembly (SNA) united by the ideas of racial social nationalism. Radical ultras groups around football clubs such as Dynamo (Kyiv), Metalist (Kharkiv), Shakhtar (Donetsk) and others are another source of volunteers for Azov. The former leader of the SNA, Andriy Biletsky, was one of the commanders of the regiment. He was elected deputy of the parliament of the VIII convocation in 2014. Arsen Avakov, Minister of Internal Affairs from 2014 to 2021, played an important role in the organization of the Azov unit. He initiated the integration of the group into the Interior Ministry and its further reorganization into a National Guard regiment. Azov fighters received high-quality training from Ukrainian and foreign military professionals. They are well-equipped with the latest weapons. Azov was listed as a terrorist organization by the Terrorism Research & Analysis Consortium website.

**National Corps** is an ideological political party founded on the basis of the Azov Civil Corps Public Organization. The leadership and most members of the party had been veterans of the Azov Regiment by the time it was created. The party’s leader is Azov’s first commander Andriy Biletsky. The party has more than 10 thousand members and encompasses regional organizations in many parts of the country. In the 2019 parliamentary elections, the party joined a single nationalist bloc along with the All-Ukrainian Union Svoboda and the Right Sector. The bloc scored 2.15% and did not enter the parliament. The party’s tactic is to build a branched network of party and umbrella structures filled with ideologically motivated and armed members. The party has a significant influence on football hooligans. Its members hold lectures at schools and universities, organize military camps for children, and work with ATO veterans, attracting them into the party’s ranks. The party’s youth projects include such organizations as the Youth Corps, the Memory of the Nation, and the Flame («Пломінь») literary club.

**Centuria (ex National Vigilantes)** is a paramilitary unit of the National Corps party. The organization was created in 2017 allegedly to help the police ensure public order. In practice, it became the main tool for street confrontations with the police during mass gatherings and attacks on political opponents. The National Vigilantes were rebranded in 2020. At a theatrical congress near Kyiv, the organization was renamed as Centuria and declared even more radical and militaristic goals. Azov veteran and National Vigilantes commander Ihor Mykhailenko has headed the rebranded Centuria.

Such organizations as Avangard Cultural Union (ACU), Alternative, Intermarium Support Group, Plomin, Nord×Storm, Wotanjugend, Katarsis telegram channel, Misanthropic Division, and the Ukrainian Blood and Honor cell can be considered part of the Azov Movement.

Over time, another organization called Honor broke away from the National Corps; the bodies are in conflict at the moment.