Location Ukraine Ukraine

Ukrainian Nazis celebrated Hitler’s birthday with assassination

On 20 April 2017, left activist in Kiev, a young university student Stanislav (Stas) Sergienko was followed by a Nazi gang and stabbed multiple times. He received three handle-deep penetrating wounds into the hip. But he survived–after emergency surgery he is now in intensive care.  The day of attack was not choosing occasionally. It was the birthday of Adolph Hitler. This assault was carried out in broad daylight and the attackers left, leaving his money and laptop in the crime scene, which must mean that the motive for this action was political.

Sergiyenko-face

An old-time Nazi activist who had also served in a military detachment under the Ministry of Interior of Ukraine has published a report on the yesterday’s attack against Stanislav Sergienko. It is called ‘One more safari against separatists’. There he thanks the ‘unknown good people’ (who may belong to a Nazi group he leads, C14) that stabbed Sergienko and attached photos of several other left activists. Under the current political atmosphere inside Ukraine, Nazis not only do these brutal perpetrators not hide or deny, they are brazenly celebrating the violent attack.

It was not the first conflict of Sergienko with far-right thugs. Previous year he had to leave Kiev for a few weeks after the ultra-right publicly threatened him. At that time he was part of a group of people who threw a cake in the face of the Deputy Minister of Finances, protesting against austerity cuts to student stipends. Ukrainian nationalists accused him of being a separatist. In this society being labelled pro-Russian means you’re fair game to be attacked by anyone who deems himself the protector of “the interests of the nation”. Among such people were a band of so-called anarchists, who verbally assaulted Sergienko by branding him “a traitor of the Fatherland” and threatened to call a well-known Ukrainian ultra-nationalist to beat him up. Ironically, the aforementioned nationalist is widely thought to be implicated in the bashing of an art-exhibit made by those “anarchits'” activist.

While Neo-Nazi thugs ganging up on activists from the left is hardly a new or characteristically Ukrainian phenomenon, the current hard-line patriotic discourse in Ukraine allows for the justification of such crimes, if not in their execution, but in their intention to purge the country of disloyal subversive elements. But the left group, Sergienko belongs to, sees the main enemy not in the Nazis but in the Russia and oppressed Russians in Ukraine.

US based activist Jeffrey Burds states that this is a sad comment on the end of free speech in contemporary Ukraine. Stas was the only Ukrainian to speak on the record in an article by American journalist Josh Cohen in May 2016, published in foreignpolicy.com. Stas openly challenged Viatrovych and the recent state efforts to quash historical research critical of Ukrainian nationalism: “Ukrainian historian Stanislav Sergiyenko slammed it as an opportunity for Viatrovych and his Memory Institute to ‘monopolize and restrict access to a certain significant period of documentary layers that do not meet its primitive vision of the modern history of Ukraine or, in the worst case, can lead to the destruction of documents. Unbiased study of Soviet history, OUN, UPA, etc., will be impossible.'”

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