In 480 BC the Persian King Xerxes led a two million strong army to invade and enslave Greece. Three hundred Spartans were sent to delay the Persians at the pass of Thermopylae. The Spartans and their Thespian allies held back the invaders for seven days, when their weapons broke they fought with their bare hands until every man had died. Their heroic stand inspired the Greeks to fight and in battles of Salamis and Plataea defeat the Persians. These battles were the foundations of European freedom. At Thermopylae today is a memorial to the Spartan general Leonidas which is engraved with his response to Xerxes demand that the Spartans lay down their arms. Leonidas reply was ` Molon labe.' `Come and get them.'
When the siege of Mariupol, ended the last defenders were ordered to surrender by Kiev. on Monday the 82nd day of the siege, 260 fighters including 53 wounded soldiers were excavated out. At end of the week the final group of fighters laid down their arms and came out of the city. Vyacheslav Volodin speaker of Russian State Duma said " Nazi criminals should not be exchanged" Lenoid Slutrky one of the negotiators in talks with Ukraine called Azov animals in human form "they do not deserve to live after monstrous crimes against humanity thy have committed." Russia has called the surrender a victory but for the Ukrainian people it is a heroic battle, the Thermopylae of the 21st century. The Azov brigades un-willingness to crumble in face Russian attack has inspired young men across the west.
When Russian's invaded the south of Ukraine, it didn't meet much resistance if the Ukraine defenders of Henichesh, Melttopol, Berdiansk and other cities had held their defences and fought the enemy as steadfastly as Azov have, it would have taken the Russian's much longer then four days to reach Mariupol. The Ukraine military in Mariupol found themselves surrounded . For weeks the Russians bombarded the residential areas destroying the city's infrastructure cutting water electricity with out food and medical care the people responded by melting snow for water, journalists who entered the city described how bodies were strewn everywhere on the streets the UN called it hell others said Mariupol had become Mordor. The Azov called the Russians `Orcs.'
Pravda the Leonidas of Ukraine
The Azov brigade were founded as a nationalist volunteer militia in the wake of the 2014 invasion of Ukraine and from the very start were at the forefront of the fight against Russian backed separatists in the conflict. It was Azov Brigade fighters who retook Mariupol in 2014. The Ukrainian government put pressure on the group to down play it's nationalist roots following western outrage that a openly nationalist unit exited.
The Azov Brigade are highly motivated and fiercely patriotic, the average age of Azov is 30. Russian propaganda calls them neo-Nazi's Russian TV channels call them blood thirsty killers committing war crimes on civilian's. But to people of Ukraine, Azov are hero's known for their fighting spirit in Mariupol. Woefully under armed in this epic struggle, they got zero support, no air support no artillery or ground support from the Kiev government. yet they resisted the brutal slaughter of Ukraine. NATO especially the American's have made massive efforts to prevent the nationalist fighters of Azov receiving training from western experts and preventing them from getting advanced weapons and hardware which would have helped them hold Mariupol. yet they killed 2,500 Russian's wounded 5,000 which is 15% of Russia's losses. If the West had supported the group with high grade military equipment Russian losses would have been much higher.
No one knows, how Russia will treat the Azov prisoners, Lieutenant Samoilenko spoke at the end of the siege. that all the Azov fighters understood they would be killed if captured. He told the story of Dan Zvonyk a great nationalist captured by Russians and strangled a week after his capture. The Russians then sent his mum photos of his dead body.
Illia Samoilenko intelligence officer in Azov
A student of history at age of 21 Samoilenko went to war, during a combat mission in the Donbas at end of 2017 he was installing a trip wire when a enemy shell exploded nearby the blast detonated the device he was holding he lost his left arm and eye spent all of 2018 in hospital where he had a titanium prosthetic arm fitted but he still returned to serve.
Captain Svyatoslav Palamar, deputy commander of the Azov said they defended Mariupol for the people of Ukraine and rest of the World.
Maksym kagal, a World Champion kickboxer joined Azov in 2015 he died on March 25th, his comrades kept his body in a deep freezer until he could be buried in his home city.
Brilliant feat of arms that has won the fighters of the Azov immortal fame. in my view its not just Ukraine society, it's the West who need these men to live and lead the West in the coming decades. The Berserkr supports the fight to free all the Azov fighters currently held by the Russians.
Hail Azov, Glory to Ukraine