The Supreme Court of Russia today designated the Ukrainian Azov Order as a terrorist organization, as reported by a Reuters correspondent who was inside the courtroom.
The Azov Battalion, with far-right and ultra-nationalist roots, is one of the most prominent Ukrainian military formations fighting against Russian forces in eastern Ukraine.
Russia has repeatedly invoked the Azov Order to support its claim that Ukraine is controlled by "fascists".
State Russian propaganda has compared the Order's fighters to the Nazis in World War II, whose defeat by the Soviet Union remains a central feature of Russian national identity.
Originally based in Mariupol, eastern Ukraine, many members of the Battalion were captured by Russian forces when the city fell to Russian hands in May after a nearly three-month siege.
Officials of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic (DPR), the Russian-backed entity that claims Mariupol as part of its territory, announced in May that captured Azov fighters would face the death penalty under the self-proclaimed republic's current laws .
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