With support from veterans of the ongoing Russian-Ukrainian war, volunteers and members of the Azov movement, the presentation of a new charity called Support Azov was held on July 5. This platform was created to support the activities of the Azov Regiment in various areas and for its cooperation with international partners. The presentation was held by the head of Support Azov, Oleh Petrenko, the head of the Azov Patronage Service, Olena Tolkochova and head of the Azovstal Defenders’ Families Association, Kateryna Prokopenko. The event moderator was Oleksandr Alfyorov.

A video was shown about the work of the FSO Azov Kyiv, which began its work as a territorial defense group at the start of Russia’s invasion. Another video focused on raising money for the Night Ghosts Project. The project’s main international partner is the Chicago-based volunteer foundation Help the heroes of Ukraine.

Fighter Buba, head of the 24.02 Fund, who is working on issuing and disseminating Azov NFTs. (Photo Credit: Maks Pylypenko)

The Azov Regiment became the foundation of the Mariupol garrison and the basis of the Azovstal garrison. Azov fighters were eventually evacuated from the Azovstal plant as people of strong will and great spirit. Some suffered serious injuries, Oleh Petrenko confirmed.

“It was here in Kyiv, that the fighting course and history of the largest-scale regiment FSO Azov Kyiv began. Azov fighters from different corners of Ukraine came to Kyiv and at the toughest borders of the first line, the Irpin front, defended our capital alongside other divisions. Fighters of FSO Azov Kyiv are always moving forward… a forest belt after forest belt, kilometer after kilometer, village after village. And the commanders of these units will have a role in distributing these resources, namely the funds of the Support Azov charity fund account,” Oleh Petrenko added.

“From the very first days of the full-scale invasion, the Azov Patronage Service was responsible for the hardest and the most important mission – to inform families of murdered soldiers that their relatives died at the Azovstal plant in Mariupol,” Olena Tolkochova, head of the Azov Patronage Service, said.

Olena Tolkochova, head of the Azov Regiment Patronage Service, talking to journalists. (Photo Credit: Maks Pylypenko)

“I want people to know how it’s important for families to get information and to be in touch all the time, get to know where their relatives are and get information in that time when they haven’t had a possibility to take our murdered heroes from the territory of Mariupol. Up to now, we have not been able to take everybody,” Olena added.

On June 29 a total of 43 fighters of the Azov Regiment were released by the Russians in a prisoner exchange. Olena Tolkochova told Kyiv Post about the condition of those who returned, and how the Patronage Service will rehabilitate members of the Azov Regiment.

“At the moment we don’t see obvious signs of torture, except for the fact that they are depressed and were really fed very badly. I think that our enemies know very well how to make people bad without using physical attempts. Special torture by hunger or words, or relocating people from one barrack to another one, locking them in confined spaces. I know that they were told that Kyiv has been leveled to the ground and ‘you can relax, you don’t have anywhere to come back to!’”, Olena Tolkochova told Kyiv Post.

Presentation of Support Azov Project. (Photo Credit: Maks Pylypenko)

“Our purpose is to rehabilitate everyone back to their regular condition. We have already created the Azov military-rehabilitation center. We’re working on plans on how it will work. There are patrons ready to help us. For instance, in purchasing land and at the first stage of construction. This is a long-term story, because as the example of the U.S. demonstrates, veterans remain veterans for their whole lives, they have their special status, and they will demand a special attitude towards them and assistance until they pass away, because these are people with a different mentality. These are military people, these are a special type of resident,” Olena added, talking about the prospect of building a rehabilitation center for veterans of the Azov Regiment.

Head of Support Azov Project and Azov Regiment veteran, Oleh Petrenko. (Photo Credit: Maks Pylypenko) (MAKS PILIPENKO)



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