UWC condemns anti-Ukrainian violence
The Ukrainian World Congress (UWC) condemns the violence committed against representatives of the Ukrainian community on May 5, 2019 in Lisbon, Portugal, by participants of the Russian initiative “Bezsmertnyi Polk ” or “Immortal Regiment” during a pro-Soviet rally. Members of the Ukrainian community were attacked for standing alongside participants with placards informing the people of Portugal about the crimes of Stalin and Russia’s military aggression in the Donbas region of Ukraine.
UWC calls on the Portuguese authorities to launch an immediate investigation into these crimes. Particularly troubling was that local police, despite being forewarned, made no effort to intervene and did not organize the necessary security for the event which led to this violence by pro-Russian demonstrators.
Founded in Russia, the “Bezsmertnyi Polk” initiative is largely believed to be financed from the Russian state budget. It seeks to present Soviet totalitarianism in a positive light, whitewash the horrific crimes of Soviet-Communism and affirm the cult of Joseph Stalin and the Soviet Union’s victory in WWII. Since the beginning of Russia’s military aggression in Ukraine in 2014, the “Bezsmertnyi Polk” has become very active internationally, attempting to discredit Ukraine and justify Russia’s occupation of Ukraine and illegal annexation of Crimea.
These anti-Ukrainian acts of violence are on the rise. According to reports filed with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and Ottawa Police Service, last year on May 9 at the Canadian War Museum in Canada’s capital city of Ottawa, a group of neo-Soviet demonstrators violently attacked a Canadian citizen for holding a Ukrainian flag at a Soviet Victory Day rally.
“Anti-Ukrainian violence and hate-crimes that are apparently organized with Russia’s diplomatic and government support аre on the rise and must be stopped by governments around the world,” stated UWC President Paul Grod. “Today, Ukraine is on the front line of the struggle against Russian imperialism. On the eve of commemorations marking the so-called Soviet Victory Day on May 9, the UWC urges the international community to condemn the crimes of the Soviet totalitarian regime and Putin’s hybrid war against Ukraine and its people both in Ukraine and around the world. Displays of symbols such as the Soviet Hammer & Sickle and the Georgian ribbon that represent hate or terror must be outlawed from public lands and buildings. We call upon the global community, governments and law enforcement agencies to take active measures in order to prevent further anti-Ukrainian hate crimes around the world.”