UKRAINE: MAIN NEWS JANUARY-MARCH 2018

11:18 6/4/2018
Recent developments mark the rise of far-right movements in Ukraine. In three months, more than a dozen of attacks were conducted around the country while ultra-nationalist have successfully created a new organization “National Militia” which should become the power that will “use force to establish order” by conducting policing around the country. Due to this fact, this digest is devoted to drawing the attention to the ongoing ultranationalist violence that is happening around the country. The small block of mainstream news can be found at the end of this article.

On January 19, members of far-right organizations attacked remembrance gathering for victims of ultra-right terror in Kyiv. The peaceful protest was disrupted in minutes after the start. United forces of three ultra-nationalist organizations – notorious far-right organization C14, activists of a political party “Tradition and order” and neo-Nazi NGO “Carpathian Sich” – backed by police encircled the protesters. Although law-enforcement forces did not detain members of far-right organizations, they did arrest anti-fascist activists.  After forcing protesters to end the gathering ultra-nationalists presumably have beaten up British tourist who at the time was heading to the airport. His bright colored hair might have drawn the attention of the far-right.


On January 21, member of LGBT community was attacked near the office of organization “Queer Home” in Kryvyi Rih. According to the victim of violence, the unknown attackers were screaming out the Nazi slogan “Sieg Heil”. Ultra-nationalist have used force against LGBT community in Kryvyi Rih before. Allegedly, far-right attacked the office of “Queer Home” on 30 of August 2015, while breaking into private LGBT party the day before.

On January 28, 600 members of the newly established ultranationalist organization “National Militia” marched through Kyiv.

Short video that was released by “National Militia” shows columns of men dressed in camo jackets and ends with a dreadful promise “we will establish Ukrainian order”.   The day after, members of the organization interrupted council meeting in the central Ukrainian town of Cherkasy forcing deputies to pass a new city budget.   

On February 11, four sporty men derailed lecture devoted to the discrimination in the film industry in Mariupol. They introduced themselves as “nationalists” and stopped the event arguing that person who organized the lecture has “pro-feminist views.”

On February 13, the “Freikorps,” organization that is linked to the ultra-nationalist political party “National corpus,” disrupted lecture on the topic “LGBT movement in Ukraine and world”. The far-right did not use the force but stopped the event from happening saying that discussion about homosexuality should not take place in the city that is close to the war-zone.

The next spiral of far-right violence and intimidation developed during international women’s day. On the 8th of March, according to Amnesty International, at least five people were attacked in Kyiv. Two women were beaten up and doused with "zelionka" (a green antiseptic). Pepper spray was used against journalist Bohdan Novak, while unknown person attacked activists during the march in order to take down the banner that was depicting right-wing violence and addressed problems which Ukrainian women and members of LGBT communities face every day.

Source: Anastasiya Vlasova (Анастасія Власова)/Hromadske.ua
 

Later on, the head of LGBTQ NGO Insight, which co-organized the event, was accused of violating the law. According to the police, the banner was violating the established order of meetings, rallies and demonstration conduction. Although the court rejected the allegations, the presence of ultranationalist in the courtroom during the hearing forced defendant to use the backdoor in order to leave the building safely.  

In Uzhhorod attackers used paint so that to undermine the march. Several people were doused while one of the activists suffered chemical burns to the eyes.

Source: Iryna Breza (Ірина Бреза) / Radio Svoboda / RFE / RL  
 

According to Amnesty International, radical groupings continued using force against the activists in the following days. Police did not react to the ongoing violence while mentioned above NGO “Carpathian Sich” instigated the street riots.


Source: Yanosh Nemesh (Янош Немеш) / UNIAN
 

According to the journalist Yaryna Denisyuk, the inaction of law enforcement agencies in cases of far-right violence is an ongoing trend in Uzhhorod.

In Lviv assaulters also tried to use paint against the demonstration. Police managed to stop the attack and to arrest the assailants. According to the press, there were several other cases of violence in Lviv and Mariupol.

A March 14 roundtable devoted to counteraction of discrimination and hate crimes in Uzhhorod was cancelled due to the activity of “Carpathian Sich” and refusal of the superior officer of regional police to secure the event. On March 19, similar event was cancelled in Vinnytsia as ultranationalist blocked the entrance to the building where discussion should have taken place. In the evening of the same day, far-right have interrupted public lecture on the topic “ Let’s speak about feminitives.”

On March 26, ultranationalists tried to stop a lecture on the topic “Human rights: problem of spreading of ultra-right movements in Ukraine” in Kyiv. The law enforcement forces, who had arrived on the scene, have successfully swept the far-right thus making the event possible. Nevertheless, shortly after the lecture was finished, journalist Ilya Romanenko, who visited the event, was beaten up.

On March 31 members of “National Militia” disrupted closed seminar for psychologists as it addressed the issue of psychological help to LGBT people.

In the course of the last three months, only the demonstration against the activities of “National Militia” which happened on 4th of February in Kyiv did not produce the far-right backfire.

Mainstream news feed:

On the 18th of January, the Ukrainian parliament adopted a law on reintegration of Donbass region that recognizes Russia as an aggressor which currently occupies part of Ukrainian territories. Before this, Russia was not legally considered as a military adversary of Ukraine.

Human rights activist Iryna Nosdrovskya was found dead on 1st of February. At the time she was litigating against Dmitry Rossoshansky who ran down her sister Svitlana Sapatinskaya. As accused has family ties with a former chairman of the local court, he nearly escaped punishment. Due to efforts of Iryna Nosdrovskya, the case of Dmitry Rossoshansky is still in court. According to a pre-trial investigation, the father of Dmitry Rossoshansky Yuriy stabbed Iryna Nosdrovskya while being under the influence of alcohol.

On February 12 the conflict of Mikheil Saakashvili with Ukrainian establishment culminated in the deportation of Saakashvili from Ukraine to Poland.

On February 26 Prime Minister of Ukraine confirmed that Ukraine would receive the new tranche from IMF until June.


On March 15, Attorney General of Ukraine accused former Ukrainian helicopter pilot Nadiya Savchenko, who had been taken prisoner by pro-Russian forces, of preparing a coup d'état. Savchenko had lost her parliamentary immunity while her case was transferred to court.  

On March 26, President Poroshenko announced that 13 Russian diplomats would be deported from Ukraine as a gesture of solidarity with Western countries  which are expelling Russian diplomats as a consequence of Sergei Skripal poisoning.

On March 27, workers of ArcelorMittal hosted a conference on which laborers discussed the strategy for the strike. Workers are accusing the company of conducting fraudulent activity. According to laborers, company was able to reduce workers salaries by not adjusting payments to the depreciation of the hryvnia. As for now, companies revenues allows raising workers salaries sixfold. Earlier that month, 25-year-old worker died due to the collapse of the factory's roof.   

 

RECOMMENDED