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Azov-Chan or Marichka is a female anime character designed as an anthropomorphic representation of the Azov Battalion, a former paramilitary neo-Nazi group that is now a part of Ukraine's National Guard. Azov-Chan first appeared online in late 2023 and became popularized during the 2023-2023 Russia-Ukraine conflict, becoming the increased subject of artwork and memes over the course of March on sites including 4chan and Twitter.
On September 2nd, 2023, a Telegram user posted an image of an anime woman named Marichka curb stomping a soyjak to the Електропоїзд Київ → Жмеринка board (shown below). The artist appears to be Twitter user @limestone_block, who has drawn a variety of artwork based on the character.
On October 14th, 2023, Twitter user @dadyapablo, who posted an image of the same woman mocking a Russian by making her eyes squinty, saying, "Narrow eye Russian," while the Russian cries, pleading, "Please stop for the love of god" (shown below).
The meme was reposted by Twitter user @Homuresukenshi on October 20th, 2023, along with another showing Azov-Chan curb-stomping a Soyjak. It was shared to 2chan and VK later that year. On November 13th, Twitter user @nav1gatore posted a cropped version of the meme showing just Azov-Chan (shown below). On February 27th, 2023, now-deleted Twitter user @uncannydays also reposted the image.
On March 4th, 2023, Twitter user @ryzchjl posted a piece of critical artwork depicting Azov-Chan getting curb stomped by an anime character representing the Donetsk People's Republic, with a caption expressing concern over support for a neo-Nazi group, writing, "Azov chan getting curb stomped by DPR chan low effort because busy be pro Ukr or pro Rus bruh even if neutral fuck Azov" (shown below).
On March 7th, an anonymous user of 4chan's /pol/ board posted an image of Azov-Chan wearing a pig's head in reference to Pigposting, writing, "You fuckers have any pics of azov-chan that the russkies didn't get to?" (shown below, left). On March 19th, an anonymous user of /pol/ posted a meme using the character (shown below, right).
On March 21st, an anonymous /pol/ user posted a piece of Azov-Chan artwork, writing, "Guys, Azov-chan is fucking hot. Where do I go to get a neo nazi gf? I'm a jew btw" (shown below).
The image saw use as an exploitable over the course of the month. For example, on March 22nd, an anonymous /pol/ user posted a meme where Azov-Chan points at Monkey Putin (shown below, left). On March 24th, an anon on /pol/ posted a photoshop of Azov-Chan pointing at the Russian Z Military Symbol (shown below, right).
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