Petro Poroshenko, the staunchly pro-NATO president of Western ally Ukraine, posed for a photo op with a soldier wearing a Nazi symbol.
On December 6, the Ukrainian billionaire oligarch leader posted a photo on multiple social media accounts that shows him standing with armed troops. One of these Ukrainian soldiers is wearing a patch with a skull-and-bones design called the totenkopf. This is a symbol closely associated with Nazi Germany, and specifically the Third Reich’s genocidal paramilitary the Schutzstaffel (SS).
This photo op came while Poroshenko is imposing martial law and requesting a NATO military buildup in the Black Sea.
The monitoring group Defending History, which tracks neo-fascism and Nazi Holocaust revisionism in Eastern Europe, called attention to this photo:
#Ukraine’s President @poroshenko poses with his troops…one of whom is wearing a patch of the Nazi SS Totenkopf (Deaths Head) division.
Poroshenko posted this photo on both his official Twitter profile and Facebook page.
Якщо поглянути на сучасну історію Збройних Сил України, то немає в ній жодної сторінки, де б не йшлося про десантників та їхні подвиги. Вони прославилися в боях з російським агресором за гору Карачун та Савур-могилу, в обороні Донецького та Луганського аеропортів. pic.twitter.com/EOwOQ6CS2G
This is not the first controversy linking Poroshenko to a Nazi symbol. In July, one of his advisers wrote on Facebook the neo-Nazi symbol “1488,” which combines the white supremacist “14 words” with code for “Heil Hitler.”
In late November, Poroshenko’s government declared martial law, after a questionableskirmish with Russian military. This decree gives the government the authority to curtail elections, expression, movement, meetings, and strikes.
Following the incident, Poroshenko requested a major NATO military presence in the Black Sea, along with more weapons and an expansion of sanctions against Russia. The billionaire chocolate oligarch turned president has previously taken steps for Ukraine to join NATO.
In October, an activist from the violent Ukrainian neo-Nazi gang C14, who collaborated with Kiev police to “purge” citizens from the Roma ethnic minority, spoke at the US government-funded America House Kyiv.