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24.11.2013

Far-right march through Lviv

   

   On Nov 23, while people throughout the world joined Ukrainians in remembering the Victims of Holodomor 1932-1933 and in protesting against the government’s about-face on the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement, around 150 extreme rightwing racists held a march through Lviv.  

It was officially reported that the march was timed as remembrance of the victims of Holodomor, however the participants, who wore white and black masks gave no impression of being there in memory of those starved to death.  Instead they chanted Nazi and racist slogans and called for revolution.

One of the banners was of the organization Hellenic-Ukrainian Brotherhood, another read: “The night is dark, but dawn is near” which is a direct reference to the name of the Greek far-right part “Golden Dawn” (a Greek flag was also to be seen). 

The march may well have been linked with a closed concert held in Lviv on Saturday of far-right hardcore groups.  Members of far-right groups from Poland, Russia and Italy are also believed to have come for the occasion.

Andriy Sadovy, Mayor of Lviv called the march a “disgrace for the city” and called on the city police to be more vigilant against possible provocation in Lviv during Euromaidan (the protests over the government’s announcement that they’re suspending preparations the the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement. 

There has been suggestion on social networks that the march was deliberate provocation, aimed at associating Euromaidan with primitive neo-Nazis.  While such attempts can certainly not be excluded, the concert had been planned in advice, and the existence of such racist elements cannot be denied.   

According to Anton Shekhovtsov, well-known specialist on the far-right in Ukraine, the march was addressed by Yevhen Karas, the leader of a neo-Nazi group called C14, member of the Kyiv branch of VO Svoboda and adviser to one of that party’s new MPs, Andriy Ilyenko. 

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