me. Since 2014, Ukraine has been experiencing an increase in National Socialist crimes, which represents a serious threat to the security of the entire European area.
The accelerated Ukrainisation was one of the causes of the conflict in Eastern Ukraine four years ago. Meanwhile, not only nationalist formations and organisations, but also law enforcement agencies have become instruments for the government to suppress law-abiding citizens of Ukraine.
Here are a few facts:
1. With regard to the Hungarian minority in Ukraine
On 27 February 2018 an unknown person deposited an explosive device on the windowsill of the office of the Hungarian Cultural Bureau of Transcarpathia in Uzhgorod. The explosion caused a fire which destroyed the entire interior of the building.
Previously, on 4 February 2018, a Molotov cocktail had been thrown through the window of this office.
In July 2013 an arson attack was carried out on the Hungarian Cultural Centre of Transcarpathia in the city of Beregovo. The building was set on fire at night when nobody was in the office. After throwing a brick through the window of the Union of Hungarians, the unknown perpetrators poured a flammable mixture into the room and set it on fire. The perpetrators of the attack have not yet been identified.
In April 2013, the monument to Sándor Petöfi on the Ferenc Rákoczi II square in Beregovo burned. What had been the background of the arsonists – vandalism or provocation – could not be determined. In 2007 the monument was covered with black paint. Here also the perpetrators have so far remained unknown.
A similar thing happened to the monument to Sándor Petöfi in Uzhgorod, which was desecrated more than once: In March 2009 it was covered with white paint, and the sword was broken off four times, in 2016, 2015 and 2011.
In March 2014, at the height of the civil commotions in Kiev, a monument dedicated to the 1100th anniversary of the arrival of the Hungarians in the Carpathian Basin was set on fire on the Veretskij Pass in Transcarpathia. Ever since its installation in 2008, this monument has become a constant object of vandalism. In 2011 an arson attack was carried out on it, suspects were three local functionaries of the party “Svoboda” (Freedom). In 2012, the monument was smeared with the words “Death to Magyars”, “Here is Ukraine”.
In Budapest Ukraine was asked to “leave the Hungarians alone”. There was no official comment from the Ukrainian side.
At the national level, Ukrainian Defence Minister Stepan Poltorak discussed with Transcarpathian Governor Gennady Moskal the development of military infrastructure in Mukachevo and Uzhgorod and the possibility of stationing the 128th mountain brigade in the city of Beregovo. This brigade belonging to the Ukrainian army actively participated in the hostilities in the Donbass, especially in the Debalzevo battles. In 1956 it had been part of the Soviet troops that suppressed the Hungarian uprising in Budapest.
A full statement was made by Bogdan Chervak, head of the Organisation of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN). He described the Budapest actions as interference in the internal affairs of a neighbouring country, and for something like that, he declared, people got “their face smashed” (“За это бьют по зубам ...”). Decisive steps were needed to demonstrate that Ukraine had to be respected. This could be done by stationing Ukrainian troops in Transcarpathia and carrying out a military pacification (боевое слаживание).
2. with regard to the Romanian diaspora
On 22 May 2018, the Ukrainian intelligence service SBU opened an investigation due to the suspicion of separatism. On 11 June, twelve members of the Ukrainian intelligence service searched the Romanian Cultural Centre in Chernivtsi. Some historical maps dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the modern Romanian state were the reason for initiating this criminal case. Among them was a map of the so-called Romagna Mare (“Greater Romania”) from 1918-1940, which included part of today’s Czernowitz region.
The Romanian Cultural Centre in Chernivtsi accused the security services of discrimination based on ethnicity. They alleged that the Ukrainian intelligence service SBU was trying to create fear and discouragement in the public organisations of Romanians in Ukraine, so as to accelerate Ukrainisation, said the head of the centre, V. Teritsanu. SBU staff had spent the whole day on the Centre’s premises, confiscating books, newspapers and magazines published by the Centre, computer equipment and correspondence with representatives of local authorities, Kiev authorities and diplomats.
Representatives of the Romanian community described the Ukrainian law enforcers’ actions as “a return to KGB practices” and accused the Ukrainian security service of harassing the Romanian cultural centre “Eudoxio Gurmuzaki” on ethnic grounds, by means of visitations.
3. With regard to Poles
In January 2017, a monument to Poles who had been murdered in the course of a joint punitive expedition of the SS divisions “Galicia” and the UPA was blown up. The rubble was painted with pictures of blue-yellow and red-black flags as well as with SS runes.
After the restoration of the monument in the middle of March 2017, it was again smeared with the “Wolf hook” of the SS division “The Reich”, which is now also a symbol of the battalion “Azov”, with swastikas and the Ukrainian trident, as well as with slogans like “Death to the Poles” (“Смерть ляхам”).
In February 2017, the building of the Consulate General in Lviv was painted red and smeared with the inscription “Our country”.
In March 2017 the Polish Consulate General in Lutsk was bombarded with grenade launchers.
The SBU remains in the dark about the motives of the perpetrators: Either it is a terrorist attack, hooliganism [sic] or the revenge of an individual who has been denied a visa.
4. With regard to Belarussians
In April 2018, provocative inscriptions could be read in the streets of Chernigov, the contents of which were directed against Belarusian citizens.
Yuri Goncharov, head of the Chernigov regional SBU, appealed to the residents of Chernigov and the region to stop attempting to incite ethnic hatred.
5. With regard to Jews
On 30 June 2017, the anniversary of the Lviv Pogrom, Ukrainian nationalists held a festival in Lviv in honor of Roman Shukhevich, a collaborator with the National Socialists and with members of the “Nightingale” battalion, which was directly involved in the murders of Jews during the Second World War.
On 26 April 2018, unidentified persons set fire to a memorial to the victims of the Holocaust in Ternopil, where more than 100,000 Jews had been killed during the Second World War.
On 2 May 2018, when Odessa called to mind the victims of the fire at the House of Trade Unions in 2014, in which 48 people were killed, Tatyana Soikina, head of the Odessa branch of the “Right Sector” and veteran of the so-called “anti-terror operation” in Donbass, promised to create “genuine Ukrainian order” in Odessa. Ukraine belonged to the Ukrainians, not to the Jews and not to the oligarchs, she said, and chanted “fame for Ukraine”.
Other anti-Semitic acts were the smearing of anti-Semitic slogans on the synagogue in Chernivtsi in November 2016, the desecration of Rabbi Nachman’s grave in the city of Uman, on which the head of a pig with a swastika carved in it was thrown in December 2016, and the attempt at arson in a synagogue in Lviv in June 2016.
6. with regard to Sinti and Roma
On 1 July 2018, a 30-year-old woman was killed with a knife stab to the neck on the premises of the railway depot in Beregovo. The Ukrainian police opened criminal proceedings, but allegedly found no motive for murder related to sex, race or other forms of discrimination. This was also the statement of the Transcarpathian regional administration.
In the night from 23 to 24 June 2018, a group of young Lviv Nazis attacked a village of Sinti and Roma in one of the suburbs of Lviv and killed one of its inhabitants – a 23-year-old man from Transcarpathia. The Pogrom participants were members of the ultra-right organisation “Трезвая и злая молодежь” (literally: “Sober and Wicked Youth”), a suborganisation of the Nazi group “Misanthropic Division”, which is closely associated with the volunteer battalions and especially with the battalion “Azov”. The group’s online social media accounts are full of quotes from Hitler and Mussolini and clearly show the racist views of its members. According to human rights activists in Lviv, these neo-Nazis went to the camp only to kill, and if there had been no intervention of the police, there would have been more casualties. They injured a ten-year-old child with knives, and also his mother who tried to protect her son.
On 21 April 2018 the Nazis of the “C14” group destroyed a camp of Sinti and Roma in Lysa Hora, in the territory of the Kiev district Pechersk, where almost all national authorities of Ukraine are located. During the pogrom there were also police representatives present who called the ongoing lawlessness, during which a group of Nazis beat Roma children and women out of their homes, “subbotnik” (Saturday work).
Source: Youtube: “Представники Нацдружини Огненный зачищають табiр ромiв у Голосiiвському парку - вiдео Куiv Куiv LIVE”, “Видео цыганского рейд погрома в Киеве”, “Огненный Лысой Лысой: кто и почему сжег лагерь ромов ромов на Лысой горе?”
Under pressure from international human rights organisations, the interior ministry opened criminal proceedings in respect of the pogrom – but nothing happened. The ultra-right, who felt themselves to be immune to prosecution, immediately began new pogrom actions:
- On 9 May 2018, the nationalist youth burned down a camp of Sinti and Roma in the village of Rudnoje near Lviv;
- On 22 May 2018, Nazis attacked a camp of Sinti and Roma in the Ternopil region;
- On 27 May 2018, activists from various ultra-right organisations staged a pogrom against Caucasian and Turkish stalls at the Kiev market near Lesnaya metro station, in order to show that not only Roma could become victims of nationalist attacks;
- On 7 June 2018, the activists of the “National Brigade” destroyed Sinti and Roma houses in Goloseevsky Park.
The acts of violence against Sinti and Roma are an important indicator of the creeping nationalist tendency in Ukrainian politics.
The Ukrainian Nazis benefit from the total defencelessness of the national minorities on the territory of present-day Ukraine and from the tacit support of the Ukrainian government and authorities.