European MEPs Will Address the Problem of Neo-Fascism in Ukraine

Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard


A group of Deputies in the European Parliament (EP) are creating a special format of a working group for discussion about the problem of the spreading neo-fascist moods in Ukraine. On September 27th the first hearing on this topic will take place. The organizers, who consider it to be important to show “an objective picture of what is going on in the country”, reported to “Izvestiya”. All Deputies of the EP are invited to the meeting. Guests from the Ukrainian side are also expected.

The initiative to organize continuous discussions about the growth of radical moods in Ukraine was taken by representatives of the “European United Left/Nordic Green Left” and “Greens–European Free Alliance” factions. One of the main initiators of the hearings – vice-chairman of the EP committee on relations with Russia Jiří Maštálka told “Izvestiya” that the main aim of the meeting is to frankly discuss the problem of the actual encouragement of Ukrainian radicals by the Kiev authorities and the absence of an unambiguously-negative assessment of this phenomenon by the European community. According to him, the participants, in particular, will consider the “glorification of the figure of Stepan Bandera, and also the tragedy in Odessa” which happened in May, 2014.

“All europarliamentarians will be invited to the hearings. Those who will refuse will be present, probably, will do so based on the belief that ‘everything is normal’ in Ukraine. Also guests from the Ukrainian side will take part in the meeting — about ten people, among which, for example, is the leader of the Communist Party – nowadays forbidden in Kiev – Pyotr Simonenko. They will present their vision of the problem of the glorification of Nazism,” explained the European politician.

As representatives of the initiative group noted, in Europe, which fully felt all the consequences of fascism, there shouldn’t be a place for any neo-Nazi manifestations. As Jiří Maštálka emphasized, the most important thing is objectively and with deep arguments to describe what is going on in the country, and not to come down to propaganda or the “spreading of false information”.

The final lists of those who are invited from the Ukrainian side are still being finalised. However, it is already known that the Ukrainian journalist and political prisoner Ruslan Kotsaba will come for the hearings, as well as one of the lawyers of the mother of the murdered Oles Buzina. Invitations were sent to a number of human rights organizations, the names of which the authors of the idea refused to disclose, “so that nothing is disrupted”. An invitation will be sent also to the Ukrainian permanent representative at the EU.

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The political scientist, the director of the Center for Eurasian Studies Vladimir Kornilov in conversation with “Izvestiya” explained that some, in particular East European, countries already for a long time have sounded the alarm and are extremely dissatisfied with the growth of Ukrainian radicalism. For example, Poland, which supported Euromaidan in Kiev at the time, lately has made sharp remarks in the direction of the neighbouring country for various neo-fascist actions.

“The more there will be any torch processions in Ukraine, explosions of monuments to Soviet soldiers, awarding the rank of hero, and the renaming of streets in honor of Banderists, the more painfully Europe will begin to react,” considers Vladimir Kornilov.

The elevation into a cult of such characters as Roman Shukhevych or Stepan Bandera, different actions of neo-Nazi organizations in Ukrainian cities, the murders of Oles Buzina and other political and public figures say that the policy of encouraging the neo-fascist ideology actually reached in Ukraine the State level. Besides this, a number of battalions participating in the ATO use nazi symbols on the uniform of fighters. These tendencies cause an increasing number of European politicians to be concerned.

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