Finding inspiration in Ukraine’s notorious far-right battalion Azov, Bosnian Croat ‘skinheads’ and football fans in the town of Mostar have embraced far-right and neo-Nazi symbols and slogans. In a photograph from the game, posted on social media, a group of supporters stands beside a banner featuring symbols associated with the World War Two-era Croatian state that was a fascist puppet of Nazi Germany and with a far-right Ukrainian volunteer battalion that took up arms against Russian-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine in 2014. The flag can be found elsewhere online, particularly among posts by Croatians who joined the fight in Ukraine’s Donbass mining region. But one feature of the match-day photo from 2015 sheds fresh light on the scourge of far-right extremism in this southern Bosnian town, still deeply divided between Muslim Bosniaks and Catholic Croats since the end of the 1992-95 Bosnian war. It’s the T-shirt worn by one of the supporters captured in the picture giving a Nazi salute, printed with the slogan SH-MO, or Skinheads Mostar. The rise of the Skinheads since 2012 reflects the tightening grip of far-right extremism on Mostar, a river town scarred by war and more recently by far-right, white supremacist and neo-Nazi graffiti. (…) From the Balkans, Serb fighters sided with the rebels out of loyalty to Serbia’s fellow Orthodox ally Russia, while Croatian nationalists found common cause with the far-right elements of Ukraine’s resistance against Moscow.Croatia, a country where conservative currents are strong and WWII revisionism is part of the political mainstream, has emerged as a key staging ground for the Ukrainian far-right’s international ambitions, according to the findings of a 2018 BIRN investigation.
via balkan insight: In Bosnian River Town, Far-Right Symbols and a Link to Ukraine