Not long ago the main purposes of the non-profit NGO “Ukrainians of Russia”, which I have the honor to chair, were promotion and popularization of the Ukrainian culture in Russia, organization of cultural events, participation in scientific and educational programs devoted to Ukraine, its people, history and culture. Unfortunately, since November 2013 Ukraine is overwhelmed by chaos, the state of anarchy and civil war. All this inspires us with fear, pain and anger.
The murder of several dozens of activists by unknown snipers in Kiev in February 2014 initiated these terrific processes. The investigation of this murder was suspended; a number of evidences were destroyed. The recording of phone talk between Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Paet and High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy baroness Catherine Ashton was released on March 5, 2014. Just after the release of the recording, the conversation was authenticated as genuine. Urmas Paet prejudiced the fault of Yanukovich for most part of victims in Kiev. He clearly declared that ”… people are seriously concerned about the fact that the new coalition is unwilling to investigate what really occurred there. The understanding of the fact that somebody from new coalition, not Yanukovich, was behind those snipers is becoming more and more strengthened with every passing day.” In this telephone talk Urmas Paet also makes reference to the fact that the manner of snipers’ shooting at the protesters and the police is similar. We would remind you that representatives of ”new coalition” still hold posts in Ukrainian government: Arseniy Yatsenyuk is prime minister (since February 27, 2014), Aleksander Turtchinov is chairman of Parliament (since February 23, 2014).
May 2 protests of defenders of federalization were held in Odessa. During clashes in the street of Odessa with radical Ukrainian nationalists, 46 were killed, more than 170 injured in the Trade Unions House. According to witnesses, the nationalists barricaded the entrance and didn’t let people leave the building. They started to throw ”Molotov cocktails” to the windows. Many people burnt to death. The others dropped to death while jumping from windows of the burning building. According to Odessa residents, there were more victims.
Ukrainian journalist Anatoly Shariy, granted refugee status in EU, writes about Odessa tragedy: ”I interviewed an inhabitant of Odessa who survived in the Trade Unions House… As it was – ”Right Sector” and ”football fans” burst into the building, killed people at once, without saying. They killed men on the spot and women, they divided them to groups.” In the cellar people were killed. I was shocked by the words: ”Don’t spend cartridges, do as it is.” People were beaten to death. They beat even dead men, though women shouted that those dead men didn’t breathe. I didn’t see, that those who were inside the building had weapons. Almost everyone who ”cleaned out” had fire arms and were killing people.
This woman, an inhabitant of Odessa, is ready to confirm her words in public. Of course, she fears, of course, she is shocked by what she has gone through. But because of such people we can get to know that nightmare and what happened in the building where people were ”smothered”.
The events in Odessa initiated unrests in other Ukrainian regions, first of all, in Donetsk and Lugansk regions. Many Ukrainian citizens understood that they could be killed only because they had another opinion and because they didn’t share the ideology of new Ukrainian power and radical Ukrainian nationalists who support it.
Actually, the events in Odessa were a trigger of civil war in Ukraine. In several days bloody clashes took place in Mariupol city (Donetsk region). After that inhabitants of Donetsk and Lugansk regions decided to hold a referendum on the status of their territories. Ukrainian government, represented by Aleksander Turchinov and Arseniy Yatsenyuk, instead of sitting down for negotiations and reaching a compromise waged a war against residents of those regions. Radical nationalists and Nazi-inspired ”National Guard” and ”voluntary battalions” which are in fact punitive units. It is typical of the militants of these battalions to use Nazi symbols. These units were sent to fight against population of Donetsk and Lugansk regions and massacred civilians.
”The propaganda of Nazism became an apotheosis of the new regime, established after the power of Maidan putsch. Although a new Ukrainian government didn’t stop at simple revaluation of actions of Nazi criminals. Now they feel necessary to legitimate Nazi symbols at a state-level… The best example of this is the emblem of the battalion ”Azov”, formed of volunteers from different neo-Nazi organizations of Ukraine and which is a part of Ukrainian army. This battalion has committed numerous acts of genocide of population on the South-East of Ukraine, from massacre of civil protesters in Mariupol, where men and women protested in the streets against the brutal regime of new government, to shooting of injured defenders of Donbass which were smashed on hospital beds.
The emblem of the battalion ”Azov” repeats German symbol, called Wolfsangel (a hook of wolf). It is a runic symbol used by many military units of Nazi German. In spite of Nazi crimes which are condemned by all humanity, anyone from modern Europe is not indignant at using of Nazi symbols all over Ukraine. At first it was used by gunmen in Maidan, then by squads of regular army. So then what? Can we expect the destruction of own citizens who disagree with the new authorities, censorship and killing of journalists? What am I speaking about? It is already taking place! Italian journalist Andrea Rocchelli and his Russian colleague were killed by barbarous actions of Kiev army nationalists. No one paid any attention to this tragedy, no one said the story of Andrea, no one wrote to his family, no one told his compatriots about his funeral. What a shame!
Ukrainians as well as their European and American supporters play with Nazi ideology; they don’t understand that they play with fire. The fever of nostalgia enveloped many politicians and Ukrainian citizens. Though they forget about that, it comes to extremely dangerous mood, which can play a nasty trick with them, and turn the bottom up. There are many similar examples in history. We should be more attentive and learn from the mistakes of previous generations.’
Bogdan Bezpal’ko is the Chairman of “Ukrainians of Russia”, the non-profit organization promoting Ukrainian language and culture in Russia.