Head of the Institute of Legal Policy and Social Protection Elena Berezhnaya About the Rise of Fascist Sentiments in Ukraine

Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard



The head of the Institute of Legal Policy and Social Protection Elena Berezhnaya spoke about the rise of fascist sentiments in Ukraine…

The expert focuses attention on the assistance that the authorities of the country gave during a march of the extreme right on January 1st, timed with the 109th anniversary of the birth one of the leaders of Ukrainian nationalists Stepan Bandera.

“Unfortunately, Ukraine is being turned into a neo-Nazi State for the 4th year. Neo-nazism and fascism are already supported at the State level. The march that took place in Kiev was protected by law enforcement bodies, and police cars accompanied those carrying out this march. The central Kreshchatik Street was blocked off for this occasion,” said the head of the Institute of Legal Policy and Social Protection Elena Berezhnaya.

According to her, the use of symbols, banners, and flags of the Third Reich in the “Azov” battalion, which is included in the structure of the National Guard and is subordinated to the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine, serves as additional proof. Besides this, fighters of UPA at the legislative level are equated to participants of World War II, and mentioning the Great Patriotic War is completely forbidden.

“It means that the Ukrainian authorities try to erase not simply the national memory of the younger generation, of all the inhabitants about the feat of Soviet soldiers, our grandfathers during the liberation from fascism of the whole world, but also to reformat the genetic code, to force the feeling of grief because it’s not the Third Reich, it’s not Hitler that won. That’s why it is proposed to ban the 9th of May and to designate the 8th of May as a day of mourning. This is what the Institute of National Memory – I call it ‘of National Forgetfulness’ – of Vyatrovich pushes forward, to adopt in such a law in the Verkhovna Rada.

I stress that this institute, according to acting legislation, in general doesn’t have the legal grounds to exist. Nevertheless, it develops draft laws, and proposes them to the Verkhovna Rada for consideration, and the Verkhovna Rada adopts them. This also can be a procedural matter, where there are the grounds for the submission of a lawsuit to the European human rights court. And this is what our Institute of Legal Policy and Social Protection named after Irina Berezhnaya is doing,” stated Elena Berezhnaya.

The march of nationalists took place in 21 regions of the country, order during the events was provided by about 1300 police officers and 730 national guardsmen. About 1000 people took to the streets of Kiev on the first day of 2018, and among them there were children and teenagers.

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