Radicalism and intolerance on the rise



According to the Director of the Middle East Research Centre, Ihor Semivolos, there has been an increase in manifestations of radicalism and intolerance in Ukraine. He says that the situation is worst in the Crimea and eastern regions, however there are also problems in Lviv.

Countering radicalism and intolerance was to be one of the main issues discussed on Sunday during a meeting of the Council of the Regions under the President in Yalta. However Ihor Semivolos believes that this is simply for appearance and will not bring any real results.

He says that the situation has worsened and that this is not only because of the economic situation. “The problem is that there is a certain behaviour which is like a signal to the population. If the political behaviour of the ruling class bases itself on disregard for laws, moral principles and on readiness to overstep the law, then those signals given by the ruling class one way or another are spread in society.

Asked which region has the greatest problem, he replied that intolerant behaviour, unwillingness to be tolerant towards other points of view and other people, and the tendency to swiftly react with violence, were in the first instance typical of the Crimea and for the eastern regions. As far as Lviv is concerned, he said that there are forces there as well working in the same mode.

With respect to what the authorities are doing to regulate the situation, he says that this is in the main declarative gestures like the meeting in the Crimea on Sunday. They can talk there about the need to reduce xenophobia, he says, however their media outlets or those which support the Party of the Regions spread xenophobic information, especially in the Crimea. Nothing is being done by the law enforcement agencies, nor is the law applied with regard to the forces which not only spread xenophobic calls, but also use violence against other ethnic groups in the Crimea. Those groups, he stresses, are linked with the Party of the Regions.

From a text at Radio Svoboda

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