Ukrainian Far Right mobilisation on ‘Day of UPA’

Republished from:  Ukraine: Activist Perspective

A short overview of the events of October 14, the Day of UPA, in #Kyiv#Kiev.
President #Poroshenko introduced a new date for the Defender of Fatherland Day—October 14th. According to the myth, it was the founding date of the Ukrainian Insurgent army in 1942. The Defender of Fatherland Day used to be celebrated on February 23rd, which is the founding date of the Red Army in 1918 (which is also a kind of speculation).

#Svoboda far-right party organized a rally at the building of Parliament that day. Instead of the promised 20 thousand people there were only a couple of thousand. The protesters demanded that the MPs vote for a law which would recognize the #UPA as a side of conflict in #WWII, but the law was not on the agenda. Some other groups of the far-right, supposedly the #Bratstvo(Brotherhood) of Dmytro Korchinskyi, have joined the rally and started clashes with the police. It did not grow into a riot, and the crowd left the square in front of the Parliament upon the request of Oleg Tyahnybok. Several dozes of protesters were arrested. One of them was recognized as a policeman. It is not clear if he is a provocateur or a combatant of a volunteer battalion, which is also officially a police unit. Another arrested person, who attacked the police with a chain, is a son of MP candidate from Svoboda party. Svoboda and the Right Sector denied their participation in the provocation and say that they even helped the police to arrest the hooligans. Only one neo-fascist group Revanche took responsibility of it. But we are not sure about the origins and affiliations of this group, because it was unknown before and we can suppose established exactly for this rally.
Video of the clashes: http://youtu.be/ypEacDFrPyQ

Later in the evening, a march to celebrate UPA was organized by #Azovregiment and #RightSector. They demanded to provide technical and material support for the paramilitaries in #ATO and their families. The march gathered about 1000 people, a lot of them were in military uniform, and they used a lot of pyro. However, there were no fights during the nationalist rally.
Video of the march: http://youtu.be/La2FT7oGl84

In general, we can say that nationalist activities this day were much less numerous than in the previous years, but looks like they are now more militarized and more overtly use the far-right symbols.

The elections to#Ukrainian parliament will be held on October 26th. So every party tries to speculate on contradictory historical moments. The President, on his part, had symbolically moved the Defender of Fatherland Day, but the parliament did not approve the law about UPA during its last session. This holiday was popular during the previous years only among the people with #Sovietsympathies and nostalgies, or by people who served in the army during the Soviet times (as a professional holiday). The nationalists called not to celebrate it.

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