Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Controversy over Ukrainian prime minister's participation in neo-Nazi concert

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The controversy that embarrasses Oleksiy Hontcharuk comes as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is criticized by the nationalists.

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Ukrainian Prime Minister Oleksiy Hontcharuk in Kyiv at the end of August. Gleb Garanich / REUTERS

He claims to have come almost inadvertently, without knowing that the concert he was going to attend was that of a neo-Nazi group, assuring, also, to ignore that the event was organized by Andriy Medvedko, a figure of the Ukrainian far right accused of murdered a pro-Russian journalist. Thursday, October 16, the tone was the mea culpa for the Ukrainian Prime Minister, Oleksiï Hontcharouk, after the broadcast on social networks of a photo showing him, four days earlier, on the stage of a show of the group Sokyra Peruna (the "ax of Perun", a Slavic god), whose emblem – which is a stylized swastika – just like the headlines – Heroes of my race, or Glory to the skinheads of Rus'– leave little room for nuance.

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On a long message posted on Facebook, the youngest prime minister in the democratic history of Ukraine (35 years old) explains that he went to a party devoted to veterans Sunday without knowing that it would be punctuated by neo-Nazi songs. . "Tens of thousands of Ukrainians have died defending Ukraine. Tens of thousands of our guys continue to defend our peaceful skies every day in Kiev, Mariupol or Lviv. We will never betray thems, "writes the minister. "Politicizing the situation is inappropriate, it's not up to the government to dictate what our advocates have to sing, he said, adding: As for the concert, I have nothing to do with it. (…) I had no idea who was invited as an artist. To make things clear: I do not share anything with Nazism, fascism or communism. "

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The Prime Minister's visit to this little party was hailed with the help of "88" (code meaning Heil Hitler) by various nostalgic of the IIIe Reich, of which Andriï Medvedko, indicates the Kyiv Post. The Ukrainian site also notes that one of the first to have broadcast the photo of the head of government in bad position is none other than Yevhen Karas, leader of the right-wing organization C14 known for its attacks on Roma camps whose name is a reference to the "14 words" of the white supremacist David Lane (contained in his slogan "We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children").

A "traitor" ready for all concessions

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