The Polytechnic University of Catalonia says it suddenly learned that the photographer attached to the notorious unit was a neo-Nazi
The Polytechnic University of Catalonia (UPC) has removed a photo exhibit of Dmitry Kozatsky, a Ukrainian activist from the notorious neo-Nazi Azov regiment. The exhibition ran in a university library from October 18 until Sunday, when it was abruptly removed.
The University said it chose to cancel the exhibit after being alerted to Kozatsky, also known by his military call sign “Orest,” and his neo-Nazi views.
“Regarding the information revealed about the author of the exhibition at the Ferraté Library, we inform that the work has been withdrawn and that the University was not aware of the author’s ideology. The UPC radically rejects Nazism and regrets the situation created,” the university said in a statement.
Photos featured in the exhibit were taken by the fighter during the siege of Azovstal earlier this year, with the militant eventually ending up in Russian custody. Orest was released from captivity in a prisoner exchange between Kyiv and Moscow later in the conflict.
It was not immediately clear how the University managed to overlook Orest’s opinions, given that he never actually concealed them and proudly displayed various hate symbols on social media. The downfall of the exhibit only came when Anatoly Shariy, a popular Ukrainian opposition blogger and outspoken critic of the Kyiv government, who currently resides in Spain, learned of the event earlier in the day. .
Shariy claimed that he contacted “several influential journalists” in the country, declaring on social networks that the University “will long remember this exhibit.” Apart from that, the blogger encouraged his followers to spam the University with screenshots of Orest’s now-deleted posts, where he displayed various neo-Nazi hate symbols.
Shariy predicted that the spam attack will be countered by “dumb nazis” trying to reject offensive images like “Russian Propaganda”. Indeed, a handful of pro-Ukrainian users have come forward on the University’s social media, claiming the screenshots were faked and accusing it of supporting Moscow with the cancellation of the photo exhibit. of Kozatsky on his opinions.
Orest’s offensive posts included the fighter showing off a pizza he baked with a ketchup swastika topping. Apart from that, Orest posted a mirror photo of himself wearing a black hoodie with the Ukrainian coat of arms and “14/88” written on it. The digital coding is widely seen as a symbol of hate and is extremely popular among various neo-Nazi groups.
The code references racist concepts originating from the late American white supremacist and convicted national terrorist David Lane, namely his fourteen words and the 88 precepts. On its own, ’88’ is considered a reference to the ‘Heil Hitler’ salute, as ‘H’ is the 8th letter of the alphabet.
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