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Civic Nation Unity in Deversity

Incitement of Hatred

Incitement of Hatred An Ukrainian anti-Semitic poster.

Manifestations of hate speech and graffiti were recorded against Jews, Russians, representatives of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate (UOC-MP) and LGBT.

On March 20, 2014, speaker at a pro-Russian rally said that Ukraine suffered from a “Zionist coup d’état”. On April 6, anti-Maidan protester shouted at their opponents, “Go back to Lviv, Jew-Masons”. On January 20, graffiti saying “Death to Jews” was found in Grieving Mother Memorial in Poltava. On February 2, graffiti “death to Jews” and “Zieg heil” was found at the Holocaust memorial in Aleksandria. On February 28, another such graffiti was found in Simferopol. On May 5, a Holocaust Memorial was desecrated in Novomoskovsk, Dnepropetrovsk region . On November 12, anti-Semitic graffiti was found on a Jewish school in Kharkiv.

A group of thugs who attacked Russian Embassy with iron bars and Molotov Cocktails were carrying Nazi symbols (UPA symbols and other). They painted swastikas on the building and chanted slogans, such as “Russians to the gallows”.

On July 22, Lviv had a procession of football fans under Nazi slogans characteristic for the Ukrainian nationalist movement – “Ukraine is above all”, “Muscovites on knives”, “Glory to the nation – death to the enemies”. Similar slogans sounded on July 22 rally in Kharkiv.

On March 25, an unregistered National Democratic Worker’s Party of Ukraine sent a threatening letter to a representative of the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church (Diocese of Cherkassy) abbot Alexander Shirokov. Ukrainian radicals demanded the priest to stop “any pro-Moscow enemy propaganda”. Otherwise, as stated in the proclamation of the National Democratic Workers Party of Ukraine, drastic physical and “exterminating” measures will be taken against him and his family.

On August 23, 2014, activists of Kiev Veche attacked the construction site of an Orthodox temple in Kiev, painting “Death to the enemies”, “Death to Moscow Church” on the fence.

On October 6, 2014, supporters of the autocephalous Ukrainian Orthodox Church were distributing leaflets encouraging attacks on members of the UOC Moscow Patriarchate in Rovnensky region, western Ukraine. “Ukrainians! Putin’s fifth column – Moscow Church – is the main tool in destroying our spirit! Every penny left in the church of Moscow Patriarchate is a bullet for a Ukrainian soldier! Every candle lit in a Moscow Church is your husband, brother, groom burnt alive! Death to Moscow Popes!

On June 8, 2014, Babylon gay night club was attacked by Donetsk activists, who shouted that such establishments should not exist in Donetsk. “Trident” official website contains a message about disrupting an LGBT film in Kiev.

On December 3, 2014, Right Sector issued an “official message”, where it expressed its position towards the LGBT community. “We clearly separate people who are just sick with homosexuality and other sexual perversions from the continuous propaganda intended to legitimise perversions and destroy traditional family values.”

Message also said that Right Sector will oppose radical liberalist attempts to turn humanity into a “faceless” biomass.

On April 10, 2015< it was reported that billboards and leaflets in Kiev and Kharkiv contained calls to identify “domestic separatists” – those disloyal towards the current government – and report them to Security Service (SBU) hotlines. Anyone who “desecrated national symbols” or “spread decadent moods” were branded as domestic separatists. Such vague terminology only facilitated fear and mutual hostility.

Several homophobic calls and threats have been recorded. On May 14, 2015, Trident organisation, which founded the Right Sector, published threats against LGBT activists.

On June 1, 2015, "Right Sector" activists published a statement, promising to “make every effort” to prevent the Equality March in Kiev.

On June 4, 2015, leader of the Right Sector, Dmitry Yarosh posted on Facebook that LGBT are “imposing the ideology of sexual perversion and destruction of family.” He added that the Right Sector party would have to prevent the plans of “family-haters”.

In 2015, cases of hate speech towards migrants have become more common. An example of the formation of a prejudiced attitude toward this category of people is the story that was broadcast on September 7 on the NewsNetwork17 channel, in which migrants were represented as dirty, insolent and pejorative to civilization people; another story was broadcast on July 1, 2015 on the “New Channel” in the program “Paragraph”, which talked about the invasion of Asian illegal immigrants to Ukraine[21]. After the attack on foreign students in Kharkov, Trident organisation published an article on their website, approving this attack and talking about” insolent migrant students who terrorized the local population “.

Several xenophobic public actions have been held in 2015. On January 15, a public action took place in Izmail (Odessa region), participants of which accused Roma of drug trafficking and the law enforcement – of inaction. Commissioner for Ethnic Policy Gennady Druzenko, having specifically arrived from Kiev, told the protesters that this is not an ethnic problem, but a criminal one, adding that “crime has no nationality”.

On May 25, 2015, Day of Heroes march was held in Ivano-Frankivsk, dedicated to the date of death of another nationalist leader, Yevhen Konovalets. Demonstrators held swastika flags and other Nazi symbols.

On June 6, anti-government demonstration was held in Kiev, where along with economic slogans, protesters demanded to “remove foreigners” and LGBT members from the government.

On July 22, 2015 in Lviv, an anti-Semitic rally was held near the building of the local administration. The rally participants held placards with the appeal “No Jewish power!” With the decoding of “real” surnames of Ukrainian politicians, including Oleg Tyagnybok (Frotman) and Alexander Turchinov (Kogan). The rally was attended by more than a hundred people, including minors. After the end of the event, the organizers distributed a financial reward to participants in the crowd (about 50 hryvnia). Officially, the application for the rally was filed by the public organization “Active element” from Slavsk, Lviv region.

On the next day, July 23, the Lviv region prosecutor's office launched an investigation into the incitement of ethnic hatred (P. 1, Art. 161 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine). SBU on behalf of the prosecutor's office initiated an investigation into the organization “Active element”. The police also initiated an investigation into the conduct of the anti-Semitic action.

On November 22, 2015 at Independence Square in the centre of Kiev another anti-Semitic rally was held. For example, one speaker said, “It's enough to tolerate this power headed by President Weizmann, Speaker Groisman and other Jewish slips”, and complained that “we Ukrainians” are “always being herded like sheep”.

There are also cases of classic racial discrimination in terms of skin colour. It is possible to note the case of discriminatory “face-control” in the bar called “Sotka” in Mykolayiv. Such facts were recorded as early as 2014. In February 2015, the owner of the bar shouted racist abuse at a Turkish patron and removed him from the establishment.

On June 18, foreign students in Uzhgorod were denied entry into a waterpark because of their skin colour. According to the head of the establishment, former Mayor Sergey Ratushnyak, students from India, Bangladesh, Zimbabwe and Ghana prohibited from entering the resort due to “health concerns”, claiming that students could have been carriers of tuberculosis or syphilis. Previously, Ratushnyak made anti-Semitic remarks against the future Prime Minister, calling him a “Jew-Yatsenyuk”.

On the part of Ukrainian government officials and political figures, the situation with negative and intolerant rhetoric towards national minorities of Ukraine was repeatedly observed, which certainly does not correspond either to the legal status of these individuals or to the provisions of Ukrainian legislation.

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