Payton Gendron's use of Black Sun icon sparks BIZARRE debate over Ukrainian Azov battalion

Payton Gendron, 18, claimed in a 180-page manifesto that he was "radicalized" on the internet during the early days of the Covid pandemic


                            Payton Gendron's use of Black Sun icon sparks BIZARRE debate over Ukrainian Azov battalion
Payton Gendron (L) published a racist manifesto allegedly using the same "black sun" Nazi symbol used by Ukraine's neo-Nazi Azov militia (Twitter)
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The white supremacist teenager who claimed at least 10 lives in a mass shooting at a grocery store in Buffalo, New York, published a racist manifesto allegedly using the same "black sun" Nazi symbol used by Ukraine's neo-Nazi Azov militia, which is reportedly being trained by NATO forces amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

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Payton Gendron, 18, claimed in the 180-page document that he was "radicalized" on the internet during the early days of the Covid pandemic, and not by any people he had met personally. The self-professed white supremacist and anti-Semite said he had found through his "research" low white birth rates across the globe, and that the "crisis" would "ultimately result in the complete racial and cultural replacement of the European people."

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The usage of the same "black sun" or sonnenrad symbol by both Gendron and the Azov militia sparked a debate on social media, with some claiming the US was funding white supremacists in Ukraine by sending billions of dollars in aid.

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"The white supremacist terrorist who killed at least 10 people at a grocery store in Buffalo, New York, and live-streamed it, Payton Gendron, published a fascist manifesto using the same "black sun" Nazi symbol used by Ukraine's neo-Nazi Azov militia, which NATO is arming & training," journalist Benjamin Norton tweeted.

"The Azov symbol is in the news not just in Slovakia but also in Buffalo, where Saturday’s vile, racist mass shooter was a fan of the same altered “black sun” that Azov uses behind its Wolfsangel. The first page of Payton Gendron’s hate manifesto reportedly contains the symbol," Meduza editor Kevin Rothrock added.

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"The guy who shot 10 people in a racially-motivated mass shooting in Buffalo yesterday, Payton Gendron, was wearing a Nazi 'back sun' symbol on his chest. It's also used by the Azov Battalion in Ukraine. Ya know, the ones getting a portion of that $40 billion of US tax $$," YouTuber Joe Quinn alleged.

"So we sent $40 billion to Ukraine to fund the neo-Nazi Azov battalion which has a magazine promoting itself called the "The Black Sun" that uses the same logo as the neo-Nazi shooter in Buffalo Payton Gendron. Can't make this up!" another Twitter user wrote.
 

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Others, however, scoffed at the comparison and declared there were no links between the Buffalo shooter and the neo-Nazi Azov militia.

"There’s a lot of disinformation already about the mass shooter in Buffalo, NY. To be clear, he didn’t have an “Azov Battalion symbol” in his manifesto — it’s a sonnenrad (black sun), which is a common white supremacist symbol," researcher Caroline Orr Bueno tweeted.

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"I DO NOT understand why people in your mentions do not understand that all Azov Battalions are white supremacists but not all white supremacists are Azov? Like, why are people thinking you are saying differently?" writer Leila Claire replied.

"Anyone not familiar with the Black Sun symbol in white supremacist movements hasn't been paying attention. Pretty much all neonazis use it, & even people into old Norse & Celtic mythology use it. But this kid wasn't influenced by Azov," one Twitter user argued.

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"Omg are ppl really tying this to Ukraine? stretch marks," another chimed in.
 



 

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It's worth noting that the Azov battalion is the most controversial of all Ukrainian forces, known for showcasing Nazi symbols and espousing white supremacist ideology. Azov reportedly began as a military infantry consisting of civilian volunteers roped in from far-right, neo-Nazi groups that were active in Ukraine, including the Patriot of Ukraine gang and the Social-National Assembly (SNA). 

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The Washington Post recently referred to the Nazi tendencies of the Azov battalion in an article titled ‘Right-wing Azov Battalion emerges as a controversial defender of Ukraine’. The piece noted how there was widespread support for the group and that Ukraine had emerged as a new hub for the far-right across the globe. “…Even as they have consistently denied any Nazi affiliations, their uniforms and tattoos on many of their fighters display a number of fascist and Nazi symbols, including swastikas and SS symbols," the Post noted.

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