Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard
The high-profile case concerning the murder of Oles Buzina was brought to court. Law enforcement bodies accuse Denis Polishchuk’s nationalists (nickname “Allakh”) and Andrey Medvedko (nickname “Menson”) of murder. Both of them are members of the nationalist organisation C14.
Earlier this organisation repeatedly appeared in the center of scandals – its members attack people who possess views the nationalists consider to be “anti-Ukrainian”. Not so long ago big resonance was caused when the head of C14 Evgeny Karas admitted that he closely interacts with the Ukrainian special services to identify “enemies of the people”. Moreover, the former nationalist brothers-in-arms also accuse the SBU of cooperating with Karas.
However, all of this is just the tip of the iceberg. “Strana” discovered a number of facts that point to direct State support being given to structures close to C14.
In an interview with the BBC Ukrainian service, which called C14 “hooligans who catch separatists”, the participants of the group denied ties to neo-Nazi ideas. According to them, the number “14” in their name appeared because “Sich“ was created on October 14th, and not because of its connection to informal symbols of the far-right movement “1488”.
“C14 is ‘Sich’. It is said that in the underground printing houses of UPA they didn’t have the letter ‘i’, and instead they wrote ‘1’,” explained the leader of the organization Evgeny Karas.
In reality, according to the data of the register of legal entities, the organisation was registered not on October 14th, but on February 13th, 2015. And the full name of the organisation is “Sich-C14”. I.e. the word “Sich” in the name is specified separately from the traditional symbol of the ultra-right “C14”.
The organisation’s actual leader Evgeny Karas has the right to sign documents, and his brother Vladimir is the head of the organisation and one of its founders:
Besides the “Sich-C14” organisation, this same group of nationalists created several other organisations, which have a more respectable image, and receive money from the budget.
Legal assistance to the ultra-right
Both of the accused in the murder of Oles Buzina Medvedko and Polishchuk are the cofounders of the public organisation “National Center for Legal Assistance”.
According to the data of the register of legal entities, Polishchuk is registered as the leader, and Evgeny Karas, under whose address the organisation is registered, has the right to sign all documents:
Behind the scenes of the educational project
The most respectable in the organisations of this ultra-right group is called “Osvitnya asambleya” (“Educational assembly”). It is mainly through this body that nationalists receive official support from government bodies, including financial.
The co-founders of “Osvitnya asambleya” are the already mentioned Evgeny Karas, and also Nikolay Panchenko and Tatyana Buryanova. Nikolay Panchenko is registered as the leader, and Evgeny Karas has the right to sign all documents of the organisation:
In order to add authority to their organisation, the ultra-right invites well-known people to lecture in the “assembly”. On the website of the organisation the director of the Elena Pinchuk foundation “ANTIAIDS” Olga Rudneva, the TV host and board member of the National public broadcasting company Michael Shchur (Roman Vintoniv) and the people’s deputy from “Samopomich” Viktoriya Voytsitskaya are specified among the lecturers, for example:
Probably, thanks to positioning as an educational project, this organisation connected to the ultra-right “C14” managed to receive financing and support from State bodies.
183,000 from the budget of Kiev
In 2016, the “Prostir” project submitted by “Osvitnya asambleya” received budgetary financing totalling 183,500 UAH. The leader of C14 Evgeny Karas was mentioned as the author of the project:
The money was allocated within the framework of the so-called “Public budget” when a part of the capital’s budget was distributed between projects that got the maximum number of votes in Internet voting.
For this money “Osvitnya asambleya” obtained the necessary kit for carrying out mass actions – a generator, a coffee machine, laptops, photo and video cameras, etc. The greatest expenses in the project – the purchase of 50 beanbag chairs for 60,000 UAH and transportation costs of 35,700 UAH. At the expense of the capital budget even office paper and table tennis bats and balls were acquired:
However, after a number of critical publications these projects couldn’t gain the necessary number of votes.
Ministry of Youth and Sports is also a partner of the ultra-right
A more solid partner of “Osvitnya asambleya” is the Ministry of Youth and Sports. According to the information on the website of the ministry, in 2017 “Osvitnya asambleya” became a partner in the organisation of a number of actions concerning military-patriotic topics in the Kiev, Zhytomyr, and Chernovitsi regions.
80,000 for “war with Russia”
One more structure of the C14 nationalists that receives State support is the “Union of veterans of war against Russia”.
A public organisation with such a name was founded by one of the accused in the murder of Oles Buzina Denis Polishchuk, together with the already mentioned cofounders of “Osvitnya asambleya” Evgeny Karas and Nikolay Polishchuk.
According to the data of the register of legal entities, the head of the organisation is also Evgeny Karas, and the legal address is located at the place of his residence:
This organisation, together with the department of family, youth, and sport of the Chernigov regional administration, in August of this year carried out the military-patriotic gathering “Yastreb 2017”. This was reported on the website of the department:
This event received financing from the budget.
According to the data of the website of budgetary funds “E-data“, more than 80,000 UAH was spent on this event, 63,000 of which went to the Kiev entrepreneur Nera E.A. for renting equipment, stationery, and other small things:
Why do members of C14 come out dry from the water
Besides notable State support, activists of C14 often manage to avoid problems with the law when, in similar situations, ordinary citizens for certain would be put behind bars.
For example, the suspects in the murder of Oles Buzina Polishchuk and Medvedko were detained on June 18th, 2015, but after being detained Polishchuk was bailed for 5 million hryvnia. Then the court cancelled this decision and repeatedly arrested Polishchuk. However, on December 9th, 2015, the Pechersky district court of Kiev again released Polishchuk – already even without posting bail, under around-the-clock house arrest. Then, on December 31st, Medvedko was released under house arrest too.
Then on March 25th, 2016, the Pechersky court in general refused to prolong house arrest for Denis Polishchuk, and for Andrey Medvedko the measure of restraint was replaced with a personal obligation. Since then the persons accused of murder actually were at large.
In August of this year a “Opel” car being driven by Evgeny Karas was stopped by police in Dnepropetrovsk, and the patrolmen wrote out a ticket for drunk driving. However, under the pretext of including the breathalyser that was used by the police in the list of technical means, the court didn’t hold the leader of C14 responsible and closed the case.
Perhaps Karas indeed didn’t lie when he spoke about the ties between his organisation and the special services. But, as we see, he interacts not only with law enforcement bodies, but also with civil departments. And if the former probably provides cover for nationalists, the latter provides a stream of finances from the State budget.
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