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Nationalists on march in Kyiv: Triumph of the will

Author : Der Spiegel

09:10, 17 October 2017
Nationalists on march in Kyiv: Triumph of the will

Author : Der Spiegel

"Death to enemies:" far right groups show strength in Kyiv. The occasion is marking the 75th anniversary of the founding of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army, which in the meantime cooperated with Nazis

09:10, 17 October 2017

Read the original text at Der Spiegel.

Reuters

Nationalists and far right radicals held a march in Kyiv to commemorate foundation day of Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA), established 75 years ago.

On Saturday, thousands of masked men marched with torches through the city center. The organizers of the march claim up to 20,000 participants who marched with the firecrackers.

Related: October 14: Ukraine’s far-right Intercession

About 5,000 police officers ensured the security of the event. The far-right parties Svoboda, Pravy Sector (Right Sector), and Natsionalny Korpus (National Corps) had called for the nationwide march.

UPA was founded in the Western Ukraine during the German occupation. In 1943, its fighters began ethnic cleansing in Volyn region. As a result, tens of thousands of Poles were killed. After the end of the war, they fought against Soviet security forces until the early 1950s.

Related: October 14: History of Ukraine's far-right holiday

Since 2015, 14th of October became commemoration date of Day of the Defender of the Fatherland in Ukraine. The current struggle of Ukrainian fighters against separatist organizations in eastern Ukraine, supported and equipped by Russia, is associated with the memory of the resistance that UPA fighters once played against the Soviet Union.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko praised the UPA fighters in front of the soldiers as "the best sons and daughters of the Ukrainian people who opposed two totalitarian regimes." The head of the state failed to mention the crimes and atrocities.

Reuters

Poroshenko is himself under pressure. His rating is at the lower depth. Followers of far right movements perceive him as a traitor, because he does not move harder against the pro-Russian separatists in the Eastern Ukraine. Andriy Biletsky, one of the leaders of the march in Kyiv, had previously threatened to be engaged in the "struggle for power" against Poroshenko and demanded for impeachment.

Related: Third anniversary of Maidan: far-right mayhem in Kyiv and reaction of international media

Biletsky is a deputy of the Ukrainian parliament. Before starting the political career, the far right adherer was commander of the notorious "Azov" volunteer regiment. The armorial bearings of the troops are decorated with Sonnenrad (sun wheel) and Wolfsangel (wolf-anchor), both symbols have been and are still popular among German Nazi.

Open source

Related: Ukraine cannot marshal arguments to defend its controversial law on education

Even though the far right regularly demonstrate their presence in Kyiv, their political support in the Ukrainian population is manageable. At the last election in 2014, the far right party "Svoboda - Freedom" was read out of the parliament; the "far right block" also failed to enter it.

Related: War is a natural life environment for the far rights

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