The post by the Ukrainian leader featured two soldiers who were sporting neo-Nazi insignia on their uniforms. The first soldier named Mikhail wore the standard of the 14th Waffen Grenadier Division of the Schutzstaffel (SS) – a lion facing left and three crowns.
The division was also known as the 1st Galician Division, as it was comprised of predominantly Ukrainian volunteers hailing from the Galicia region – now located in southwestern Poland and western Ukraine. It also gained a reputation for committing war crimes against Polish civilians during the course of World War II.
Most notable was the division's role in the 1944 Huta Pieniacka massacre. The 1st Galician division removed the eponymous village from the map and razed it to the ground. It also murdered more than 1,000 residents, many of which were young children.
Mikhail also wore the patch of the 49th Rifle Battalion of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, a stylized trident with a sword as the middle prong. The battalion is named after the nationalist "Carpathian Sich" militia of the 1930s. Moreover, most of its members were also part of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists-Bandera (OUN-B) faction led by Nazi collaborator and war criminal Stepan Bandera.
The bigger OUN group was split into two: Bandera's OUN-B faction and the conservative and less radical wing OUN-M led by Andriy Melynk. Despite his war crimes and open hatred of Jews, Ukrainian nationalists consider Bandera a hero and Ukrainian officials likewise celebrate him openly.
Prior to the Russia-Ukraine war that commenced in late February 2022, Western media outlets openly described these militias as neo-Nazi. They later started referring to these neo-Nazi militias as far-right groups with a view to painting Russia as the Nazis. (Related: Western media is literally peddling Neo-Nazi propaganda to prompt war between Russia and Ukraine.)
The Aug. 24 post featuring Mikhail was not the first time Zelensky posted symbols of Nazi Germany on social media.
An earlier post by the Ukrainian leader that commemorated the defeat of Adolf Hitler-led Germany in 1945 featured one of his troops wearing the "totenkopf" or "death's head" symbol. The insignia – a stylized skull and crossbones – was actively used by and lent its name to the 3rd SS Panzer Division.
Former concentration camp guards made up the majority of the division, which gained notoriety for its brutality. It was responsible for numerous massacres of French civilians and Polish Jews. The 3rd SS Panzer Division was also behind the mass execution of British prisoners-of-war in the Battle of France.
The Ukrainian president's Instagram post also featured Sergey Volynsky, also known by the nickname Volyna. He previously commanded a marine unit attacked to the neo-Nazi Azov Battalion.
The Azov Batallion was folded into the Ukrainian military in 2014 at the behest of former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko. However, it was decimated during a protracted siege at the Azovstal steel plant in the coastal city of Mariupol, with most of its members being killed. Surviving members were captured and, just like Volynsky himself, are currently in custody.
A later iteration of the battalion dropped the "wolfsangel" or wolf's hook symbol from its insignia, which had Nazi connections. Instead, it used the golden trident – Ukraine's national symbol – as evidenced by uniforms worn by recruits in the city of Kharkov.
Maksim Zhorin, commander of the new Azov unit, said his regiment was formed "on the same principles and ideological basis as the legendary Azov regiment."
Visit UkraineWitness.com for more stories about Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
Watch this Sky News report featuring Russian official Dmitry Polyansky with evidence of Zelensky's "totenkopf" social media post.
This video is from The Prisoner channel on Brighteon.com.