Comment by the Information and Press Department on neo-Nazi activity in Ukraine
The Kiev-based October 14 celebrations of the anniversary of the so-called Ukrainian Insurgent Army, which was notorious for its bloody WWII massacres of civilians belonging to different ethnic groups, including Jews, Russians, Ukrainians and Poles, have become yet another manifestation of neo-Nazism and xenophobia. Radical organisations staged processions with Nazi symbols, which were accompanied by aggressive slogans and the glorification of Bandera and Shukhevich, who collaborated with the Hitler regime. Unfortunately, these actions are becoming commonplace in today’s Ukraine.
This year, the neo-Nazis presented the Ukrainian authorities with an ultimatum, urging them not to allow the implementation of the Normandy Format agreements on the disengagement of forces at the line of contact in Donbass and the implementation of the Steinmeier Formula. They openly called for civil disobedience and “war with Russia to the bitter end.”
It is disappointing that these actions have not received the response they deserve from either Ukraine’s leaders or the international community. Moreover, ahead of the processions, Ukrainian Prime Minister Alexei Goncharuk gave a welcoming speech at an infamous concert given by a neo-Nazi rock group. Ukraine’s Western patrons, including those involved in the peace process in the east of the country, have failed to respond to neo-Nazi sentiments in Ukraine in any way. History shows that a policy of conniving and flirting with extremist movements can lead to extremely dangerous consequences.
We call on international organisations, including the UN, the OSCE and the Council of Europe, as well as on our Normandy Format partners, to respond with a principled assessment of these neo-Nazi actions and induce Kiev to oppose these trends, perform its commitments regarding the peace settlement in Donbass, and respect the fundamental rights and freedoms of all members of multiethnic Ukrainian society.