On Victory over Fascism Day, May 9, Neo-Nazi “National Corps” (former Azov Battalion unit) staged new attack on Progressive Socialist Party of Ukraine leaders Dr. Natalia Vitrenko and Vladimir Marchenko
May 12—Early Tuesday morning, as the USA, Canada, and European countries had celebrated V-E Day (May 8), the 72nd anniversary of the Nazi surrender in World War II, and the countries formerly in the Soviet Union prepared for their customary marking of the occasion as Victory Day, May 9, leading anti-fascists in Ukraine heard their apartment doorbells ring and threatening voices outside in the hallways. Gangs from the neo-Nazi “National Corps Party,” formerly a unit of the neo-Nazi Azov Battalion under the Ukrainian Ministry of Internal Affairs, were attempting to break down the doors of the apartments of Dr. Natalia Vitrenko and of Vladimir Marchenko, leaders of the Progressive Socialist Party of Ukraine and former Members of Parliament. During a five-hour stand-off, police refused to forcibly remove the attackers. The neo-Nazis declared that their purpose was to prevent Vitrenko and her PSPU from holding Victory Day rallies or taking part in the Immortal Regiment march, in which people in Kiev, as in cities throughout the world, honor, were set to honor family members who died fighting fascism, or survived as veterans of the war.
Vitrenko is famous not only for her now nearly quarter-century-long battle against the destruction of Ukraine through the imposition of neoliberal monetarist economic policies, but also for warning for two decades of an insurgent fascist movement in Ukraine, marching under Nazi-derived banners and those of Ukrainian 20th-century fascist Stepan Bandera’s Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists. Even after her warnings came true, when the neo-Nazis provided shock troops in the U.S.- and EU-backed coup of February 2014 that overthrew the elected President of Ukraine, Victor Yanukovych, Vitrenko has continued to fight to expose them and their backing from the West.
In October of last year, in the latest of a long series of dirty tricks, the PSPU’s national headquarters and all the party’s records of 20 years were seized on the pretext of a commercial dispute, then turned over to the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU), which continues to gestate a case against Vitrenko on trumped-up charges of “separatism.”
On May 4, 2017, Vitrenko addressed an Appeal to world leaders “to review the situation around the gross violation of the rights of citizens of Ukraine to freedom of speech, freedom of thought, freedom of expression of their views and convictions, freedom of association in political parties and public organizations, and freedom of assembly for the peaceful conduct of actions, rallies and demonstrations.” Addressing U.S. President Donald Trump, Russian President Vladimir Putin, and Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, as well as President Petro Poroshenko and other Ukrainian government officials, Vitrenko cited recent threats against her, by name, made in the Ukrainian media by individuals linked with the National Corps and affiliated neo-Nazi groups like Right Sector. She concluded, “It is my deep conviction, that if the world community fails to condemn these processes in Ukraine and to force the President of Ukraine and its law enforcement agencies to carry out their obligations to defend the rights and freedoms of the citizens of Ukraine and to put a stop to the activity of the right-wing radicals, then a Nazi state will be formed in the center of Europe in the near future, and this will give rise to a Third World War.”
In a communication today to friends abroad, Vitrenko voiced hope that Western leaders could be organized to pressure the Ukrainian government to put a stop to the attacks on the PSPU by the Azov Battalion and its political spin-offs like the National Corps party. She noted, especially, that the U.S. Congress has officially recognized that Azov is “neo-Nazi.” Dr. Vitrenko situated the attacks on her party within an evaluation of the political situation in Ukraine, where one current scenario is for a military coup to be staged by Internal Affairs Minister Avakov and allies of his who have also been sponsors of the neo-Nazi gangs.
The following PSPU statements on the latest developments are available in English (requests can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org):
- May 4, Appeal by Vitrenko to Merkel, Putin, Trump, and Poroshenko;
- May 9, “Unchained Nazis commit acts of terror against Vitrenko and Marchenko on May 9,” statement by Natalia Vitrenko to President Poroshenko and other Ukrainian officials;
- May 10, “Natalia Vitrenko says physical reprisals against her and Vladimir Marchenko were planned for May 9” (introduction to VIDEO statement in Russian, also includes still photos);
- May 10, “Political terror: Azov neo-Nazis continue persecution of PSPU,” article by PSPU political commentator Victor Silenko, detailing the escalation against Vitrenko throughout 2016-2017.
(Russian originals are at www.vitrenko.org)
For additional background:
- Feb. 10, “Appeal of the PSPU Central Committee: Help stop the defamation of a Ukrainian opposition party and its leader Natalia Vitrenko!”, addressed to the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini (published in EIR of Feb. 24, 2017, along with the article “Anglo-American War Party Seeks To Blow Up Ukraine, Wreck U.S.-Russian Prospects,” which cited Vitrenko on Ukraine in the current strategic situation);
- Nov. 25, 2016, “Euromaidan against Ukraine,” video by Natalia Vitrenko, posted on YouTube with English subtitles at https://youtu.be/x2IUOvLyv7s;
- Feb. 7, 2014 EIR, “Western Powers Back Neo-Nazi Coup in Ukraine”;
- Feb. 24, 2014, “Ukrainian Patriots Expose EU Support for Neo-Nazi Coup,” a transcript of Vitrenko’s webcast speech in Paris during the “Euromaidan” coup (published in EIR of March 7, 2014);
- May 16, 2014 EIR, “British Imperial Project in Ukraine: Violent Coup, Fascist Axioms, Neo-Nazis.”
Statement of Natalia Vitrenko, 9-May-2017
Unchained Nazis commit acts of terror against Vitrenko and Marchenko on May 9
To the President of Ukraine P. Poroshenko
Prosecutor General of Ukraine Yu. Lutsenko
Chairman of the Security Service of Ukraine V. Hrytsak
Minister of Internal Affairs of Ukraine O. Avakov
Human Rights Ombudsmen of the Supreme Rada of Ukraine V. Lutkovska
I have addressed you repeatedly, stating that the inaction of Ukrainian law enforcement agencies with regard to Ukrainian Nazis has created the conditions for them to carry out political harassment, vigilantism, and murder against journalists, political figures, and citizens of Ukraine, whose political views and values do not coincide with their Nazi ideology. There are countless examples, from the May 2, 2014 tragedy in Odessa to the murders of O. Buzyna, O. Kalashnikov, P. Sheremet, et al.
The Ukrainian regime’s proclamations of the European values of freedom of speech, freedom for opposition activity, freedom of expression, and political pluralism, in reality have turned out to be empty words and false promises to cover up the monstrous reality, that the Ukrainian Nazis are out of control and are going unpunished, while law enforcement agencies do nothing to defend the rights and freedoms of Ukrainian citizens, including opposition politicians, under the Constitution and under [international] Conventions.
On May 4, 2017, on the eve of the celebration of the Great Victory [in World War II], I personally wrote to you, demanding that you defend our rights and freedoms, and indeed our lives, from physical reprisals by the Nazis, whose threats had come out in the media, as I indicated in my Appeal.
Despite my Appeal, once again the law enforcement agencies took no action.
As a result, at 7:30 a.m. on May 9 my apartment doorbell began to ring, and demands to open the door were made by a group of people representing the “National Corps.” They demanded that I refrain from taking part in the day’s mass rallies and that I stop supporting the “Russian world.” The doorbell-ringing and threats by the Nazis were continuous. I called the police, who arrived after one hour and determined that offensive graffiti had been painted on the door of my apartment and that the Nazis were continuing to blockade it.
At 8:00 a.m. on the same day a group of 15 armed men attacked my deputy, People’s Deputy of Ukraine of the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Convocations Vladimir Marchenko. First they blocked the driveway of the building where Marchenko lives with his family, and then they physically pushed aside the concierge, broke into the building, and went upstairs to Marchenko’s apartment. They began to ring the doorbell and demand for the door to be opened, and then cut off the lights and started smashing the door and trying to break the lock. They spray-painted the door with some kind of poisonous paint, the smell from which (or from some kind of gas) got into the apartment. At that time, in addition to Vladimir Romanovich (Marchenko), his wife and daughter, also his two minor grandchildren were in the apartment, and were naturally terrified.
Vladimir Marchenko had to call the police. After half an hour, one person arrived, who was absolutely incapable of dispersing the blockade, defending V. Marchenko’s family from Nazi threats and insults, or allowing freedom of movement for all the members of the family. Or did the police have no intention of doing those things?!
I demand an immediate investigation of the acts of terror committed against me and Marchenko, and criminal prosecution of both the organizers of these depredations and those who carried them out. I demand the protection of our rights and freedoms, including security.
Consider this statement of mine to be an official statement to the police from me personally and from Vladimir Romanovich Marchenko.
Chairman of the PSPU Natalia Vitrenko
May 9, 2017