Internet platform for studying Xenophobia, Radicalism and Problems of Intercultural communication.

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.

In 2018-2021, the main targets of hate speech remained Jews and Russians (usually in connection with the conflict with Russia in southeastern Ukraine). For example, an article by the Hero of Ukraine, Lieutenant General and honorary head of the Union of Officers of Ukraine Grigory Omelchenko was published in the July 2020 newspaper "Ukraina Moloda," in which he repeatedly stressed that a Russian or Jew cannot rule Ukraine and, judging by the tone of the article, should generally know their place in the Ukrainian nation-state.

In April 2018, the weekly newspaper "Chas Pick', published in Kaniv, Cherkasy region, published a poem in the "cap" of the first page: "Let the Moskals howl like a wolf/ And the Jews howl like pigs/ The holiday is now in my land/ Easter is coming to Ukraine." And so on. However, in general, during this period there were more cases of anti-Semitic statements and publications in the media. Here are some of the episodes. In May 2018, a scandal erupted around anti-Semitic remarks that an employee of the Consulate General of Ukraine in Hamburg, Vasyl Marushchinets, regularly allowed on Facebook.

On May 2, 2018, on the 4th anniversary of the mass burning of leftist activists in Odessa by right-wing radicals, the head of the neo-Nazi Right Sector in the Odessa region, Tatiana Soykina made anti-Semitic statements: "We believe, we are sure, that we will establish a real Ukrainian order in Odessa and in Ukraine. Ukraine will belong to Ukrainians, not Jews, not oligarchy."

On June 25, 2018, Chief Military Prosecutor Anatoly Matios made an anti-Semitic statement in an interview with the online publication Insider: "The center of payment and financing of disparate groups was one of the suspects. In every war there is always a Parvus, who brought Lenin the money for the revolution, which flooded the Slavs with streams of blood for decades. That, too, was of Jewish origin. In this case, they want to do the same thing to Ukraine again."

On January 20, 2019, a rally was held in the city of Uman, Cherkassy region, which is a center of Hasidic pilgrimage from around the world, to commemorate an incident that happened the day before: vandals damaged a plaster crucifix of Christ. Anti-Semitic remarks were made at the rally. The leader of the rally said: "The Kiks, let us say it like it is, denigrate our faith and our state. They do not consider us masters here. So we have to show, if they don't adhere to these rules, we will act more violently."

On January 30, 2019, Ukrainian presidential candidate and deputy head of the "Republican Party" Rostislav Novozhenets (Lviv) expressed concern that almost all important government positions in Ukraine are held by Jews and ethnic Russians.

On December 21, 2019, Vodafone Ukraine spokeswoman Victoria Pavlovskaya posted a post on her Facebook in which she called Jews "kikes." The post was deleted.

In February 2020, the Lviv design atelier Assol introduced a "Kiks suit" in its product line.

On August 7, 2020, an employee of the auditing company KPMG was caught up in an anti-Semitic scandal. Natalia Makukhovskaya wrote on her Facebook page that "we Ukrainians have the right to stand up for our country, not listen to Jews," illustrating her post with a photo of President Zelensky, a Jew by ethnicity, surrounded by rabbis.

On August 14, 2020, Olena Oliynyk, a teacher at the Uman National Horticultural University, said that "Jews are destroying Ukrainians" and called for "throwing off the Kiks yoke and the Kiks idol from the pedestal." We should also mention the almost annual desecration of sacred Jewish Hanukkiyot lights in various Ukrainian cities on Hanukkah.

There have been cases of hate speech against the Roma people as well. For example, on March 20, 2020, Infrastructure Minister Vladyslav Krikliy took part in a joint raid against Roma with members of the neo-Nazi group C-14. According to a statement from the organization, they marched against "Gypsy gangs at the Kiev railway station. Also taking part in the event was an MP from the ruling party "Servant of the People," Roman Gryshchuk.

On April 22, 2020, Ivano-Frankivsk Mayor Ruslan Martsinkiv ordered the city's law enforcement officers to deport all Roma from the city to the neighboring Transcarpathian region. At the same time, during a public speech, Martsinkiv demanded that law enforcement officers use force against those who do not want to voluntarily leave the city.

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