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UK allegedly censored report on British neo-Nazis fighting in Ukraine

British spies are afraid the far right will establish connections with other extremists on the battlefield, the document suggests

A British intelligence report on the global threat of right-wing terrorism includes a completely redacted section on ‘returning foreign fighters’ from an unnamed European country, highly likely to be Ukraine.

Published last July, the Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament’s report on ‘Extreme Right-Wing Terrorism’ gave British lawmakers an overview of the threat posed by right-wing radicals at home and abroad. Drawn from material provided by Britain’s multiple intelligence agencies, including MI5 and MI6, the report totals 130 pages and includes detailed sections on right-wing violence in northern Europe and North America.

However, one section that follows those on northern Europe and the US and Canada is entirely redacted, its six paragraphs replaced by asterisks.

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A semi-redacted paragraph beneath offers some further context. It states that British intelligence officers are concerned that “There is no process in place to monitor those ‘G***’ individuals who have travelled overseas for Extreme Right-Wing Terrorism-related purposes and have returned to the UK.”

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It notes that “there is a strong possibility that these returning foreign fighters, some of whom may have fought ***, will have been further radicalised” while in the unnamed country, and will have “developed connections with others who share their Extreme Right-Wing ideology.” 

“There is little doubt that for *** we are talking about interesting details of the situation in one of the countries of Eastern Europe,” Russian journalist and Kremlin critic Max Solopov wrote on Telegram on Thursday. “Especially considering that the UK is the most involved country in the Ukrainian conflict after Russia.”

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Extremist ideology in Ukraine was covered extensively by the Western media before the start of Russia’s military operation last February. White supremacists from Germany, the USUKScandinavia, and elsewhere traveled to Ukraine from 2014 onwards to join the neo-Nazi Azov militia, which would go on to be formally integrated into the Ukrainian military.

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When the trickle of foreign fighters into Ukraine increased to a deluge last year, US Customs and Border Patrol warned in a memo that “Ukrainian nationalist groups including the Azo[v] Movement are actively recruiting racially or ethnically motivated violent extremist-white supremacists to join various neo-Nazi volunteer battalions.”

“What kind of training are foreign fighters receiving in Ukraine that they could possibly proliferate in US based militia and white nationalist groups?” the document asked, noting that this was an “intelligence gap” faced by US law enforcement at the time.

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Shortly before Russia’s military operation began, UK counterterrorism police were deployed to British airports to question people traveling to Ukraine. According to The Guardian, officers were looking to identify “far-right extremists” seeking weapons training and military experience.

Such reports have since vanished from the Western media, replaced by stories sympathetic to foreign volunteers and articles downplaying the Azov Regiment’s neo-Nazi roots.

April 28, 2023 at 10:49PM
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