‘That Man is a Literal Neo-Nazi!’ Protesters Confront NYC Film School for Hosting Azov Militant

© Sputnik / Alexander Maksimenko / Go to the mediabankAzov Battalion cadets deployed in the conflict zone in southeastern Ukraine, 2014.
Azov Battalion cadets deployed in the conflict zone in southeastern Ukraine, 2014. - Sputnik International, 1920, 14.11.2022
A swastika-tattooed Azov* militant has been making the rounds in major Western cities and schools to help drum up public support for funneling cash and weapons to the Zelensky regime. But audiences are increasingly beginning to push back.
Azov Regiment photographer Dmytro Kozatsky was heckled Sunday night while speaking as an invited guest at the School of Visual Arts Theatre in Manhattan during an event hailed as the “Largest Documentary Film Festival” in the United States.
“Hey, I’ve got a question,” one of several demonstrators can be heard asking in footage of the confrontation. “Why don’t you let everyone here know that Mr. Kozatsky is an open neo-Nazi?”
The protester in question – a New York City-based student and organizer with Movement for People’s Democracy named Kayla Popuchet – went on to declare that the Azov militant being honored onstage “has posted pictures with Hitler, has posted pictures of swastikas… [and] has participated in the murder of children in Donbass.”
“We are being propagandized as the Germans were in the ‘30s,” Popuchet can be heard explaining in a fuller version of the video. Kozatsky “is a neo-Nazi, and we are celebrating a neo-Nazi.”
“Doc NYC should be ashamed of itself for platforming an open neo-Nazi,” she can be heard stating in video of the altercation, shortly before she was physically removed from the event by nearly a half-dozen attendees and event organizers.
In an exclusive interview with Sputnik News, Popuchet explained that she felt compelled to take a stand because “it was important that someone at least try to raise awareness to the NYC community about who [Kozatsky] really is and who is controlling the narrative about Russia and Ukraine.”
“We’re being told by literal Nazis and their allies which side to take,” she points out, noting that she “faced violence by two grown men for speaking up about it.”
“The men grabbed me and tried to push me out, while the crowd called me a “fucking bitch” and a “Kremlin shill” – but ultimately I think it’s still important to challenge their narrative.”
In the end, she says, “I probably didn’t convince everyone, but maybe a couple of people will start asking questions about the narrative in the West.”
But she told Sputnik that she’s sure the School of Visual Arts was prepared for someone to challenge their decision to host the Ukrainian nationalist whose artistic portfolio prior to this year seemed to consist largely of photos of pizzas with swastikas on them. Their quick reaction, she says, shows that “they were prepared to throw out hecklers to defend a Nazi.”
It’s far from Kozatsky’s first brush with controversy. On Sunday, Barcelona’s Polytechnic University of Catalonia bowed to public pressure and announced that the swastika-toting photographer’s “artwork has been removed” from an ongoing exhibit, as “the University wasn't aware of the ideology of the author.” The school insisted that it “radically rejects Nazism and regrets the situation created.”
*The Azov Battalion is a terrorist organization banned in Russia.
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