Since the beginning of 2020, the amount of violence by ultra-right radicals has decreased in Ukraine, and it became even less until June. And then it increased to a record. The “target audience” of the ultra-right has not changed: they are still ideological and political opponents, as well as vulnerable groups of the population. At the same time, a certain «specialization» has appeared, which did not exist before: some try to control the streets in order to suppress resistance, others use force in political struggle. Violence Marker writes about what is happening with the ultra-right movement in Ukraine today.
So, the monitoring group «Marker» in the first half of the year recorded 43 cases of violence (33) and confrontations (10) by the ultra-right. At least 20 people were injured.
Quarantine calmed down
The activity of the ultra-right was significantly influenced by quarantine. If in January-February in Ukraine 6-7 clashes were recorded, then in spring (at the peak of the epidemic) the number of cases decreased, only 3-5. True, in June everything returned to normal: the number of cases jumped to 19, of which 16 were violent. And this is an absolute record since the beginning of monitoring (October 2018).
The ratio of violence and confrontation is also changing: the former is becoming much larger. In the first half of 2019, 63% of cases of violence were recorded, in the second — already 76%, and in the first half of 2020 — 79%.
On the one hand, one might decide that the media simply started to cover more the violence of the far-right, forgetting about confrontations. On the other hand, it is likely that the ultra-right is increasingly opting for violence where previously there were only clashes.
Most often, aggression is directed against politicians and political parties — this applies both to 2020 and the entire monitoring period. Over the past six months, experts have recorded 12 cases against them, 9 of them — directly against a person. Let’s rewind time six months ago — there were only 7 such cases.
So, since the beginning of 2020, 58% of cases of violence and confrontation have occurred with supporters of the Party of Anatoly Sharia. The situation worsened after the June rally, when the party demanded to investigate the attacks on its members. In response, C14, «National Corps», «Sokol» and «Demsokira» staged a countermeasure: there were clashes, and throwing eggs at opponents, tear gas and smoke bombs were used.
Then the police detained 15 people. A little later, already near the metro, another skirmish took place between the parties. The next day, representatives of the far-right movement announced a «safari» on social media, calling for attacks on Sharia’s supporters, and even promised financial rewards. The appeal took effect, and for the next two weeks, the media reported repeated attacks. On June 24, in Kharkov, the head of the local party center was attacked — the man was beaten with bats, after which he was taken to intensive care. A few hours later, the victim reported to the police about the attack by members of the National Corps.
Not only politics
In second place are LGBT and feminists. Since the beginning of 2020, they have been attacked 7 times: 5 cases of violence were recorded, 4 of which were against a specific person. In general, the statistics of attacks decreased: at the end of 2019, there were 15 such cases. True, it’s too early to rejoice. It is important to bear in mind that in 2020 the LGBT community did not organize street prides — events at which the ultra-right forces are mobilized. In addition, the difference in statistics is not so different if we add 3 cases when radicals beat up teenagers of «informal» appearance, accusing them of being LGBT.
On June 12, in Kiev Podol, members of Tradition and Order attacked activists of FemSolution and Feminist Workshop, tearing homophobic posters from the fence.
On June 19, Tradition and Order, the National Corpus, Brotherhood and Freikor staged an action during which they attacked at least two teenagers: they were threatened, beaten, used with tear gas and accused of being LGBT. All because of the long hair for guys, piercings and bright hairstyles for girls.
Aggression against the left and anti-fascist activists also increased. Six cases were recorded only in the last six months, half of them with the use of physical force.
On January 19, an action against ultra-right violence took place in Kiev. In response, members of the National Resistance and Traditions and Order threw stones at the demonstrators, eggs, and used pyrotechnics. 11 people were detained. After the action, the radicals looked into the Ukrainian office of the Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung, tore down the sign and disfigured the front doors. Near the metro, a passer-by was threatened, who was mistaken for a left-wing activist.
Migrants and ethnic minorities are also targeted. On April 29, in Kiev, unknown persons burst into a tent where a Roma family lived. Unidentified persons fired tear gas, beat the man and threatened to rape the pregnant woman.
The radicals attack journalists too. So, since the beginning of the year, 5 cases of attacks and confrontations against representatives of Vesti.ua, NewsOne, Shariy.net, ZIK, and Strana have been recorded. The radicals attacked Dmitry Gordon’s office after he released a high-profile interview with the head of the Novorossiya movement Igor Girkin.
In the first half of 2020, the most active were National Corps (9 cases of attack), Tradition and Order (6 cases), National Resistance (4 cases) and C14 (3 cases). Other organizations have been seen in sporadic attacks.
Monitoring has shown that the organizations have clearly divided “areas of interest”. Thus, 78% of the activity of the National Corps is directed at politicians and political parties. It is important to note that the «baton» was passed by C14, whose activity sharply declined at the end of 2019.
«Tradition and Order» «specializes» in LGBT society, feminists, teenagers of «informal» appearance, anti-fascists and the left. These groups account for 80% of their aggression.
C14, which was the most aggressive during the entire monitoring period, was practically not seen anywhere at the beginning of 2020. At least under this brand. C14 activity began to gradually decline from the beginning of 2019. Today its participants represent the «Municipal Guard» and «Municipal Guard» of Kiev. The «guards» helped the police patrol the streets during the quarantine, and are also on duty at the train station in Kiev. Here, according to the participants themselves, they are fighting against «homeless people» and «gypsies».
As a result, it turns out that the «National Corps» uses aggression in the political struggle, «Tradition and Order» with the «National Resistance» — they are trying to establish a radical right-wing conservatism, not disdaining to use force against dissent.
Maria Solodukhina, Vesti