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Moscow Dubs Japan A Neo-Nazi Accomplice for Dropping Ukraine's Azov Battalion From Terror List

© AP Photo / Efrem LukatskyServicemen from the Azov volunteer battalion read a prayer during a ceremony before being sent to eastern Ukraine, in Kiev, Ukraine, Monday, Aug.17, 2015.
Servicemen from the Azov volunteer battalion read a prayer during a ceremony before being sent to eastern Ukraine, in Kiev, Ukraine, Monday, Aug.17, 2015. - Sputnik International, 1920, 13.04.2022
Russia accused the Azov nationalist battalion of committing scores of war crimes in Ukraine and in the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics (DPR and LPR), where they have been operating since 2014.
Russia's Foreign Ministry has condemned Japan's decision for dropping Ukraine's Azov nationalist battalion from its list of terrorist organisations and said that this marks Tokyo out as an accomplice to a neo-Nazi group.
"Unfortunately, this is not the first time in Japan's history, when its government has taken the side of an inhuman regime," Foreign Ministry's spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova", said.
The ministry further argued that such a step undermines Japan's own security. Zakharova recalled that Japanese citizens suffered terrorist attacks around the world not so long ago and noted that Russia gave its active support in resolving such incidents.
Japan's Defence Ministry said earlier that it will consider sending further aid to the Ukrainian Armed Forces, including the Azov nationalist battalion, which was repeatedly caught committing war crimes during Kiev's campaign against the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics (DPR and LPR).
Japan's Public Security Intelligence Agency (PSIA) removed the Azov nationalist battalion from the 2021 handbook on international terrorism, where it was flagged as a neo-Nazi organisation, the agency said on 9 April. It claimed that the organisation was included in the handbook by mistake because information for it had been gathered from various open sources.
"This is not an independent evaluation and does not mean that the agency has recognized the Azov battalion as a neo-Nazi organization", PSIA said.
The PSIA did not elaborate on why it does not consider Azov, whose members have not only been seen wearing Nazi-related regalia - such as Wolfsangel - but have also been caught committing war crimes, as a neo-Nazi organisation worthy of being mentioned alongside other terrorist groups.
Russia's Defence Ministry has repeatedly accused the members of this battalion of using civilians in Ukrainian cities as human shields, which, among other things, qualifies them as having committed war crimes, during the Russian special operation in Ukraine.
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