On May 9, Victory Day, Kiev may hold another anti-Russian and pro-Nazi event that has been dubbed as the "Mortal Regiment." The call for the event appeared on the Facebook page of Ukrainian Nazi activist Nikolai Kokhanovsky, the leader of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN), which is banned in Russia.
"Friends, we shall not allow the Russian patriot sabbath in Kiev on May 9! We at volunteer movement OUN urge everyone who is indifferent to take to the streets and stop the scum. On May 9, communists and their supporters will once again stage a procession that takes its roots from Muscovy and is called the "Immortal Regiment,"" he wrote.
According to Kokhanovsky, last year, "the procession was marked with Stalin icons, Soviet flags and rude attempts of the commies to tear apart our red-black flag of struggle (the flag of Ukrainian nationalist movements - ed.)." The activist called to gather on May 9 at 9:30 a.m. near Arsenalnaya metro station in Kiev.
Political analyst at the Kiev Centre for Political Studies and Conflictology, Mikhail POGREBINSKY, commented on the appeal from Ukrainian nationalists for Pravda.Ru.
"On May 9, Ukrainian nationalists intend to hold the "Mortal Regiment" action in Kiev to stop the procession of the Immortal Regiment. What can this provocation end up with? Do you think the Ukrainian authorities will prevent direct clashes?"
"The Mortal Regiment?" This is lawlessness. I still think that this will not happen, especially against the background of the recent large-scale May Day demonstration in Kiev. It was a very large event indeed, and the authorities ensured security accordingly. As far as I know, no incidents were reported on May 2 either. One shall assume that the Ukrainian government wants to avoid any attacks on demonstrators and prevent violence. Therefore, I now have reasons to hope that they will be able to provide security on May 9 as well.
"But, of course, national radicals will surely try to do something to ruin it, because they will not rest if they don't. Yet, Ukrainian law-enforcers should take decisive measures to make them follow Ukrainian legislation. Those people should be called into account before one can hope that the wave of lawlessness in the streets will subside.
"For the time being, the Ukrainian authorities can only prevent violence. They would arrest some people and then let them go 30 minutes later, so those people will come again."
"What attitude do you think most Ukrainians have towards Victory Day? Do people of Ukraine want to celebrate it?"
"I do not have any data from latest opinion polls, but I know for sure that people of the older generation in their vast majority honour the memory of the Great Patriotic War and treat this date with respect. Many young Ukrainians also remember their deceased great-grandfathers, great-grandmothers, they honour the memory of the Great Victory."
Read article on the Russian version of Pravda.Ru