Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard
The mayor of Ukrainian Dnepropetrovsk Boris Filatov, where on May 9th during celebratory actions for Victory Day there was disorder, threatened to create in the city voluntary groups by the example of Freikorps — the German paramilitary formations. They will have to assume some police duties because of the inability of the leadership of the Ministry of Internal Affairs to control the situation. Meanwhile, the head of department Arsen Avakov already dismissed the leadership of police of the city of Dnepropetrovsk and the surrounding area.
Adopting the experience of nazis
The mayor Boris Filatov criticized the disorder in Dnepropetrovsk and the inefficient work of the police, which couldn’t prevent it. In his opinion, the internal problems of the department negatively affect the providing of public order.
“Throughout the whole of last year I sounded the bells, saying that in Dnieper [decommunised name of Dnepropetrovsk – ed] there is an abnormal situation with the police. If you remember, I even publicly deprived the police of the next subvention from the city budget. Alas, in the Ministry of Internal Affairs nobody heard me,” wrote Filatov on Facebook.
In this regard he stated that if the situation won’t be normalized by the leadership of the Ministry of Internal Affairs in the person of Arsen Avakov, he will take matters into his own hands. In particular, he will organize voluntary groups like the German paramilitary formations, which gave active support to nazis in the first half of the 20th century.
“If the situation doesn’t change, in the city an analog of the German Freikorps from the beginning of the 20th century will be created. <…> Yes, in history there is nothing new. And it is bad that it goes around in circles. If the authorities can’t protect the people, then they themselves have the right to do it,” noted the mayor, having emphasized that he is “already an adult boy” and will be able to cope with these problems.
Note that similar formations in Germany participated in the surpression of speeches by German communists in 1919, as well as the murders of Karl Liebknecht and Rosa Luxemburg. And after the dissolution of these militarized groups, many of their members joined the National-Socialist party of Germany. In addition, it is known that many military heads of the Third Reich were natives of Freikorps.
Filatov also reported that he doesn’t intend to finance the veteran organizations any more. Instead he is going to allocate money to support the former participants of combat in Donbass.
“From today onwards I am closing the city financing of all ‘veteran’ organizations. <…> At the next session of the city council, city financing will be allocated to the union of veterans of the ATO,” noted Filatov.
He also threatened to show the “junta in action” if “revanchists” remain unpunished.
The Rada Deputy and the former leader of the extremist organization “Right Sector” Dmitry Yarosh also sounded his opinion on the events in Dnepropetrovsk. So, he urged to prevent “vatnik-kolorad revenge” and to crush the “Oppositional Bloc” party. The Ukrainian politician threatened that if Kiev doesn’t treat the current situation with enough seriousness, “the street will start talking, and perhaps, guns also”.
“It was time long ago”
The initiative of the mayor of Dnepropetrovsk was met by the lively response of users of social networks.
“Freikorps? It was time long ago. Probably, someone has to be a bloody dog (c),” considers Vadim Tigrovsky.
“I don’t understand, why wait for the situation to change. In my opinion, the analog of a Freikorps needs to be created now,” assures Andrey Deshevy.
However not everyone optimistically reacted to the intentions to create an analog of nazi paramilitary groups in the city.
“Did everyone commenting see on Wikipedia where Freikorps went to and what its members turned into?! Without heating the remnants of history, which can still ignite dissension and confrontation among citizens, perhaps the most correct thing would be to create a municipal police, similar to the sheriff and his rangers,” suggests Sergey Anashkin.
“And the fascist, ‘mayor’ of Dnepropetrovsk, with a desire to create the Freikorps instead of police won’t be held accountable?” said Anna Koleso.
@news112ua А фашиста “мэра” Днепропетровска за желание создать фрайкор вместо полиции,привлекать не будет????
— Анна (@annakoleso) May 10, 2017
The situation in Dnepropetrovsk drew the attention of the Interior Minister of Ukraine Arsen Avakov — he dismissed the leadership of police of Dnepropetrovsk and the surrounding area. In particular, the head of regional leadership of the police General Igor Repeshko and the head of the municipal police department of Dnepropetrovsk Colonel Andrey Bidylo and their Deputies on ensuring public safety lost their posts.
In addition, Avakov initiated an internal investigation into the actions of law enforcement officers and created a special investigation team to investigate the “actions of civilians and their coordinators” in the framework of opened criminal cases.
Disorder on May 9
Clashes between participants of festive demonstrations, in particular the “Immortal Regiment”, and nationalists happened on the way to the monument of Eternal Glory. The refusal of the latter to discard the flags that they walked with, which had symbols forbidden in Ukraine on them, became the reason the radicals attacked the protesters. As a result of a fight, 14 people were injured, and 15 demonstrators were detained.
“Due to the specified events 14 people were injured — 8 participants of the action and 6 police officers who defended order. Medics treated four persons at the scene of events, and four more victims were sent to hospital,” it is reported on the website of the Ukrainian Ministry of Internal Affairs.
It is noted that four guns were confiscated from detainees (three traumatic and one gas), four knives, gas spray, an awl, a nail, a nail file, and other objects.
“After the hooliganism on Sobornaya Street, the police department opened criminal proceedings under Part 2 of Article 296 of the Criminal code of Ukraine (‘Hooliganism’),” it is said in the statement.
Meanwhile the arresting of protesters was already condemned by the international human rights organization Amnesty International.
“The ban on symbols connected with the Communist party and Soviet past (and also the laws on decommunization adopted in May, 2015), is a violation of the right for freedom of expression. And the detention of peaceful protesters is an attempt by the Ukrainian authorities to restrict freedom of speech and peaceful assemblies,” noted the Ukrainian office of the organization.
Representatives of Amnesty International also insist on the release of detainees and the conducting of an investigation into all cases of violence during actions.
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