The New York TimesThe New York Times

Nazi symbols on Ukraine's front lines highlight thorny issues of history

By Thomas Gibbons-Neff

05 Jun 2023 · 6 min read

informed Summary

  1. Since Russia began its invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, the Ukrainian government and NATO allies have posted, then quietly deleted, three photographs from their social media feeds featuring symbols made notorious by Nazi Germany.

KYIV, Ukraine — Since Russia began its invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, the Ukrainian government and NATO allies have posted, then quietly deleted, three seemingly innocuous photographs from their social media feeds: a soldier standing in a group, another resting in a trench and an emergency worker posing in front of a truck.

In each photograph, Ukrainians in uniform wore patches featuring symbols that were made notorious by Nazi Germany and have since become part of the iconography of far-right hate groups.

Sign in to informed

  • Curated articles from premium publishers, ad-free
  • Concise Daily Briefs with quick-read summaries
  • Read, listen, save for later, or enjoy offline
  • Enjoy personalized content