Ian Stuart Donaldson Skrewdriver

Posts Tagged ‘Ukraine’

The Holodomor’s Bitter Harvest

Monday, March 6th, 2017
Recently someone sent me a link to the trailer of an upcoming movie entitled Bitter Harvest, a love story set against the backdrop of the Soviet-induced Ukrainian famine in 1931-32

UEFA fines German FA 25,000 euros over supporters’ neo-Nazi banner during Denmark clash

Tuesday, June 26th, 2012

UEFA has fined the German Football Association (DFB) 25,000 euros over the behavior of a section of their supporters during the national team’s Euro 2012 clash with Denmark.

Die Mannschaft fans were accused of displaying a neo-Nazi banner during the Group B game in Lviv, as well as singing offensive songs and letting off fireworks.

The European game’s governing body has now reprimanded the DFB, having found the country’s fans guilty of “improper conduct”.

“The German Football Association (DFB) has been fined €25,000 by the UEFA Control and Disciplinary Body,” a statement released on Monday read. “The charges relate to the improper conduct of their supporters at the UEFA EURO 2012 Group B match against Denmark in Lviv on Sunday 17 June.

“An appeal can be lodged against this decision within 24 hours of the dispatch of the reasoned decision.”

Germany won the game 2-1, with Lars Bender popping up with the winner with 10 minutes remaining after Michael Krohn-Dehli had earlier cancelled out Lukas Podolski‘s opener.

Russia and Croatia have previously been fined by UEFA over the actions of their supporters in Poland and Ukraine.

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In Ukraine, football helps us tackle Nazis

Friday, June 22nd, 2012

Pavel Klymenko is a man of convictions. He used to express them on the streets of Kiev, in hand-to-hand combat with neo-Nazis. Today, he fights racism and antisemitism in another way: with words and watchfulness.

From 2004-2006, Mr Klymenko and other teenagers tried to take the streets back from neo-Nazi groups who walked around “wearing Nazi symbols and beating up people they did not like”, said Mr Klymenko, who today is co-founder and chair of Football Against Prejudices, a group which monitors stadiums for hate crimes.

Back then, “we were like the punk fans against the Nazi invaders”. With no weapons, he and his friends took on the neo-Nazis, who sometimes used paving stones and screwdrivers.

Eventually, the young anti-fascists took another tack. “We had fulfilled our self-described role,” since the neo-Nazis stopped dominating the streets.

“It was a containment strategy. And we realised that this is not the way you can fight problems in society at large.”

Now, Mr Klymenko — who describes himself as an atheist — is working to raise awareness of right-wing extremism among football fans. During the current European Championship games in Poland and Ukraine, local volunteers have been watching the stands and reporting anything untoward.

A football fan himself, Mr Klymenko notes that neo-Nazis find the sport attractive because “there is a crowd mentality. It is a very fruitful field for neo-Nazis because you can say that bad things are the fault of foreigners or Jews, and everyone will say, ‘Yay!’”

But football may be bringing positive change. Rafal Pankowski, co-ordinator of the ‘Respect Diversity — Football Unites’ project, which operates under the umbrella of the London-based Football Against Racism in Europe (Fare) said: “For people in Poland and Ukraine to walk around and see this big, multi-national crowd, it is a positive confrontation with multi-culturalism. And we do our bit to encourage this good atmosphere.”
Some 2,500 spots in Poland and Ukraine have been turned into “inclusive zones”, with posters condemning racism, said Mr Pankowski’s colleague, Jacek Purski. A hotline encourages witnesses to report incidents.

In addition, to combat antisemitism among fans, a travelling exhibition on the history of football in Poland includes a section on the involvement of Jewish athletes, club owners and fans in the early days of the game.
All these efforts appear to be helping, said Mr Pankowski. In the current international games, “people want to show they are normal Europeans and not eastern barbarians”, he said.

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Police warn over racist Ukrainian thugs at Euro 2012 championships

Friday, May 11th, 2012

Racist chants by
Ukrainian football thugs could be a flashpoint for violence at the Euro 2012
championships, police warned today.

A senior UK police officer said there was no intelligence that English fans were planning trouble at the event which begins next month.

Asst Ch Const Andy Holt said his concern was that Ukrainain fans would bombard fans and players with racist abuse.

He said “If there is a substantial amount of racist abuse that could prompt retaliation. It may be a flashpoint for some sort of disorder if fans feel they are being unfairly treated.”

Around 30 UK police officers will travel to the Euros and help police the England games in full uniform.

Mr Holt said there was also concern that Ukrainian authorities assumed UK fans would be trouble.

The Ukrainians started by anticipating a large amount of disorder caused by England fans.

“We hope that English supporters will be policed in an appropriate manner.”

He added :”I think football hooliganism is more of a problem in the Ukraine than perhaps it is at home.”

“I don’t think they are as advanced in dealing with racism.”

He said officers had been reassuring Ukrainian police about travelling fans.

He said he was concerned that England players would face racist abuse.

Around 2050 England  fans have been issued with banning orders to stop them travelling to the Euros.

But police do not expect huge numbers of fans to attend the event. Only around 3,000 tickets have been sold to England fans.

All ports and airports will be on alert for football thugs trying to avoid the ban on travelling.

In the UK extra police will be on patrol in city centres to tackle drink related disorder at big screen events.

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UCRDC Goals

Sunday, April 29th, 2012

The Ukrainian Canadian Research & Documentation Centre collects, catalogues and preserves materials documenting the heritage, culture and history of Ukrainians in Canada and around the world.

The UCRDC archives support the research of scholars, students and anyone interested in Ukrainian subjects. Through its production and collection of video and oral interviews and testimony, the UCRDC is creating a unique Oral History Collection, a body of archival documentation which will help to preserve the heritage of Ukrainian Canadians. This is a task which no other organization in the Ukrainian Canadian community has undertaken at present. The Centre provides all researchers, not only Ukrainian Canadians, with significant resources.

In addition to its role of providing materials for researchers, the Centre also serves as a resource and information centre on subjects related to Ukraine, the Ukrainian heritage and Ukrainian Canadians. In this capacity it assists the public, newspaper and radio journalists, television networks, writers, politicians, and government officials, as well as the general public.

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Chronology of UCRDC Events

Sunday, April 29th, 2012

Ukrainian Famine Research Committee is formed in Toronto on April 14, 1982.

  • Letters Patent of Canada issued on August 14, 1986 establishes the Centre as a charitable organization. Supplementary Letters Patent of October 2, 1989 established the new name: Ukrainian Canadian Research & Documentation Centre.
  • Harvest of Despair, a documentary film produced by UCRDC about the 1933 terror famine in Ukraine, is premiered on October 21, 1984 at the University of Toronto and wins many awards.
  • Oral History Workshop, December 10, 1988, was attended by representatives of: Ontario Archives, Ontario Folklife Centre, Multicultural History Society of Ontario, Holocaust Remembered (Jewish) and an Armenian organization.
  • Video Oral History Project, with thirty interviews with Ukrainian Canadians, is sponsored by UCRDC with a $20,000 grant to the Ukrainian Resource and Development Centre at Grant MacEwan Community College in Edmonton, March 1989.
  • Lecture on “The Status of Archival Research in Ukraine,” by Serhiy Bilokin of Kyiv, May 17, 1990 is sponsored by UCRDC and St. Vladimir Institute.
  • Ukrainian Librarians Association of Canada and UCRDC host Tetiana Arsienko and Halyna Didkivsky, senior librarians of the Central Scientific Library, Ukrainian Academy of Sciences, Kyiv, December 13, 1991.
  • Famine 33, a docu-drama directed by Oles Yanchuk and made by the Dovzhenko Film Studio in Kyiv, is shown at the Humber Odeon Theatre, February 20, 22, 1992 with over 2,000 people in attendance.
  • Archival Materials in Ukraine, a lecture by Iroida Wynnyckyj, February 2, 1993, described the 1976 discovery of 32 Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) documents in a kryivka hideout in Khorotsev, Ukraine. They were acquired by UCRDC.
  • Ukraine: Two Years of Independence Symposium Programme held at York University October 8-9, 1993, was sponsored by the York University Ukrainian Studies Committee. UCRDC sponsored a Public Meeting with speakers including Hon. Ihor Yukhnovsky (former Deputy Premier of Ukraine), Hon. Victor Pinzenyk (former Economics Minister), and Hon. Ivan Dziuba (Minister of Culture of Ukraine).
  • Premiere at the St Lawrence Centre for the Arts in Toronto on May 27, 1994 for Freedom Had a Price, a documentary film about Canada’s first internment operation in 1914-20, by award-winning director Yurij Luhovy, which was supported by a $50,000 grant from UCRDC. It was shown later on the CBC.
  • “Ukrainian Historical Studies at Lviv University,” lecture by Dr. Yaroslav Hrytsak, Director of the Institute of Historical Research at Lviv University. Sponsored by the UCRDC, the Peter Jacyk Centre for Research in Ukrainian History, November 11, 1994.
  • “Documentation of the Oral History of Ukraine,” a lecture by Victor Susak of Lviv University and Iroida Wynnyckyj (UCRDC), February 22, 1995. A joint project in collecting historical documentation.
  • Premiere exhibit of The Barbed Wire Solution: Ukrainians and Canada’s First Internment Operations 1914-1920at Metro Hall Rotunda in Toronto, September 28, 1995. Curator: B. Cmoc. Exhibit coordinator: Switlana Medwidsky.
  • “The Scholarly Legacy of Prof. Ivan Lysiak-Rudnytsky and Contemporary Ukrainian Historiography,” by Academician Yaroslav Isaievich, President of the International Association of Ukrainianists, (MAU), December 7, 1995.
  • A New Day Will Come a film by Roman Shirman about Ukrainian-Jewish relations, which includes rare clips of Vladimir Jabotinsky and Simon Petlura, is screened at UCRDC in December 1995.
    Book launch of Studii z istorii Ukrainy (Studies in the History of Ukraine), by Oleksandr Ohloblyn. Lecture by Prof. Lubomyr Wynar, President of the Ukrainian Historical Association, sponsored by UCRDC, Ukrainian Historical Association, and the Ukrainian Canadian Women’s Committee, and held at the Ukrainian Canadian Art Foundation, March 2, 1996.
  • UCRDC provided information for the A&E Television Network Biography of Stalin which was broadcast on March 7, 1996 with credit to UCRDC.
  • 10th Anniversary Chornobyl Exhibit in the Main Lobby of the University of Toronto Robarts Library organized by Andrew Gregorovich, Executive Director UCRDC, April 15-30, 1996.
  • Book program for Silver Threads by Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch. Sponsored by UCRDC, Cultural Committee of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress (Ontario) and Ukrainian Canadian Women’s Committee (Toronto). Held at the Ukrainian Canadian Art Foundation, December 19, 1996.
  • Book launch for The Famine of 1921-1923 and the Ukrainian Press in Canada, by Prof. Roman Serbyn, University of Quebec, February 7, 1997.
  • “The Oral History of Ukrainian Independence: Interviews with 100 Key Individuals,” lecture by Sara Sievers of Harvard University, at UCRDC, March 9, 1997.
  • New books program: Rosiysky Tsentralizm (Russian Centralism and Ukrainian Autonomy), by Zenon Kohut, Director of CIUS and Ukraine Betweeen East and West, by Ihor Sevcenko, Harvard University. Speakers: Dr. Zenon Kohut, Dr. Frank Sysyn, Dr. Yaroslav Hrytsak. Sponsored by UCRDC and the Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies, Peter Jacyk Centre for Research in the History of Ukraine, Sunday, April 6, 1997.
  • Genocide Remembered: Armenians 1915-23 – Ukrainians 1932-33. Dr. Lorne Shirinian on “Voices of the Survivors of Genocide” & Dr. Frank Sysyn “Making the Famine a Public Issue: The Role of the Ukrainian Diaspora in the 1980s,” April 13, 1997.
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Famine Conference

Sunday, April 29th, 2012

A major international scholarly conference on the famine, New Research Findings: Famine in Ukraine 1932-33, sponsored by the UCRDC, was held at the University of Toronto, September 28-30, 1990. The conference was opened by Wasyl Janischewskyj (University of Toronto), President of UCRDC.

The papers presented were: “The Politics of Researching the Famine,” James Mace (Director, U.S. Congress Commission on the Ukrainian Famine), “The Famine in the British Archival Documents,” Jaroslav V. Koshiw (University of Glasgow), “The Famine in Consular Dispatches from Kiev: The German Reports,” Orest Subtelny (York University), “The Famine in the Italian Archival Documents,” Andrea Graziosi (University of Naples), “Famine, International Law and Human Rights: Analysis of the Report of the International Commission of Inquiry into the 1932-33 Famine in Ukraine,” John P. Humphrey (McGill University), “The 1921-23 Famine in the Light of New Research,” Roman Serbyn (University of Quebec), “The Famine Witnesses: Analysis of Testimonies from Ukraine,” Lidia Kovalenko (Kiev), “The Famine Witnesses: Oral Histories in North America” Iroida Wynnyckyj (Director, UCRDC Archives) and Wsevolod W. Isajiw (University of Toronto) and “Famine in Kazakhstan, Caucasus and Volga Regions,” Volodymyr Maniak (Memorial Society, Ukraine).

Bohdan Krawchenko (University of Alberta) with J. Mace and A. Graziosi participated in the panel discussion “The Famine as a Planned Political Act.” Sally J. Taylor author of the book Stalin’s Apologist [Walter Duranty] (Oxford U.P., 1990) spoke on “A Blanket of Silence: The Response of the Western Press Corps in Moscow to the Ukraine Famine of 1932-33.” Vyacheslav Chornovil was the guest speaker at the dinner at Metro Toronto Convention Centre. Conference organizers: W.W. Isajiw, Nadia Malanchuk. It is planned to publish the proceedings of the Conference as a book.

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Ukraine’s Nazi militia training ‘football hooligans’ to interrupt England’s Euro games

Saturday, April 28th, 2012

Neo-Nazi paramilitaries are clandestinely training football hooligans to inflict mayhem during Ukraine’s Euro 2012 match against England.

An investigation by The Sun has filmed members of extreme right-wing militia ‘The Patriot of Ukraine’, as it drilled thugs in unarmed combat, knife fighting and use of rifles and pistols at a secret camp.

One of those football hooligans boasted about how they planned to riot and hurl racist abuse at black England stars such as Rio Ferdinand and Ashley Cole.Of course we will boo your black players. There will be fighting too. Why should we apologise for it?” he said.

The group’s leaders said the hooligans were seen as “foot soldiers” that would proclaim their contemptible message of racial hatred to the world during Euro 2012.

All three of England’s group matches are in the Ukraine, which is jointly hosting the tournament with Poland. ThePatriots, whose 3,500 members run illegal military training camps, teach the thugs fighting skills and offer “education” in their ideology.

In return the hooligans agree to chant white supremacist slogans from the stands and swell the Patriots’ ranks at anti-immigration rallies on the streets.

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More Proof of Jewish Cruelty in USSR THE RED TERROR

Monday, April 23rd, 2012

The Red Terror was partly a reaction to the greater horrors of the anti-Bolshevik terror in which 23,000 Reds were killed in Finland and 100,000 Jews were murdered in the Ukraine. Nevertheless Lenin repeatedly advocated terror even before the attempt on his life in September 1918. For example during one anti-Bolshevik revolt he told the authorities to organise “mass terror, shoot and deport the hundreds of prostitutes who are making drunkards of the soldiers.”

Such attitudes enabled the Cheka to acquire widespread powers with virtually no external controls. By the end of the war its head, Dzerzhinsky, was able to say that “the prisons are packed chiefly with workers and peasants instead of the bourgeoisie”, and one of his chief lieutenants, Latsis, wrote that: “there is no sphere of life exempt from Cheka coverage.” Lenin himself said that “during the war – anybody who placed his own interest above the common interests … was shot…. we could not emerge from the old society without resorting to compulsion as far as the backward section of the proletariat was concerned.”

Estimates of the numbers executed include 50,000 and 140,000 and George Leggett lists many unsubstantiated accusations of torture.

Victor Serge later claimed that “during the civil war there was perfect order behind the front itself…. There was nothing to prevent the functioning of regular courts.” But most of those killed never had a trial and one Cheka member recalled that “our Red detachments would ‘clean up’ villages exactly the way the Whites did. What was left of the inhabitants, old men, women, children, were machine-gunned for having given assistance to the enemy.” 30

The Bolshevik leadership sometimes clearly encouraged brutality. For instance, as the Whites threatened Petrograd, Lenin asked Trotsky: “Is it impossible to mobilise another 2,000 Petrograd workers plus 10,000 members of the bourgeoisie, set up cannons behind them, shoot a few hundred of them and obtain a real mass impact on Yudenich?” Trotsky thankfully disregarded this but the Bolsheviks did use terror against whole groups of people such as the Cossacks or the Tambov peasants. The Tambov rebellion of 1920-21 was extremely brutal and the Red Army crushed the uprising with the burning of villages and mass executions. One government order demanded that peasants should be shot simply for “giving shelter to members of a ‘bandit’s’ family”.

The Terror encouraged many anarchists to join Nestor Makhno‘s peasant movement in the Ukraine. This movement was much more popular than the Bolsheviks in some areas so the Red Army made three successful alliances with him against the Whites. In these areas only ‘working people’ could stand for soviet elections, not Bolsheviks or SRs, but there were no restrictions on their press provided they did not advocate an armed uprising. However in the summer of 1919 the Bolsheviks executed several of Makhno’s officers and tried to ban the Makhnovist peasant congresses. From then on the two sides fought fiercely whenever the White threat diminished. Both sides shot prisoners but Makhno’s army tended to restrict executions to those in authority whereas the Bolsheviks shot many rank-and-file Makhnovists. 31 Notes used: 30 Farber, 117-19; LCW v35, 349; v30, 510; Leggett, 465, 198, 184, 328-33, 349; E.Poretsky, Our Own People, 214. In the first months repression was relatively mild and many prisons had education facilities. However concentration camps were set up from July 1918 and mortality reached 30% in those in the north. Leggett says they were sometimes cleared by mass executions. The death penalty was formally abolished in 1920 but it was evaded by the local chekas and revoked by the summer. M.Jakobson, The Origins of the Gulag, 37, 23-4, 40. 31 Farber, 123; Service, 43; M.Palij, The Anarchism of Nestor Makhno, 151-2, 175-7, 212-19; M.Malet, Nestor Makhno…, 32, 39, 100, 129, 136.

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Euro 2012: Racism, anti-Semitism concerns linger in Poland, Ukraine as tournament nears

Saturday, April 14th, 2012

Racism remains a very real problem in European soccer despite widespread campaigns to quash its presence from the world’s most popular sport.

But from former England national team captain John Terry to Liverpool striker Luis Suarez, instances of on-field racism remain while rabid fanbases too frequently resort to racist chants and taunts to degrade opposing players and their fans. It’s a troubling reality for a sport build on its global appeal — and its one organizers for the upcoming European Championships must be prepared to tackle.

Euro 2012 kicks off in June in Ukraine and Poland — two countries whose soccer fanbases have a reputation for supporting neo-Nazi groups and engaging in blatant acts of hooliganism. And while the tournament’s governing body, UEFA, preaches its commitment to rooting out racism once and for all, it may have set a dangerous precedent with a pair of recent fines.

During a Eurpoa League match between Manchester City and FC Porto, home fans berated City’s Mario Balotelli, who is black, with monkey chants. Six weeks later, UEFA fined FC Porto €20,000 for the chants — which was €10,000 fewer than Manchester City was fined for returning to the pitch “less than 60 seconds late” for the second half.

The fine does nothing to help UEFA’s reputation in relation to how it tackles discrimination in football,” Herman Ousley, head of the anti-racism group Kick It Out, told CNN.

A recent Daily Telegraph story detailed the visible racism surrounding the stadium of Windzew Lodz, one of the country’s biggest domestic clubs. At a nearby outlet, patrons can purchase scarves and stickers with the motto “Jews forbidden” and T-shirts that read “Burn the Czechs” and “Beat the Greeks.” A store employee quoted in the newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza said they stock the items “because they sell well and they’re in demand.”

A video posted on YouTube in Novemeber titled “Polish Hooligans Waiting for You (Euro2012)!!!” shows Polish soccer fans clashing in violent brawls in streets, fields and even on fields. And during a 2011 European match against Hapoel Tel Aviv, Polish team Legia Warszawa unfurled a giant banner with “Jihad Legia” written in Arabic-style lettering.

A study conducted by a Warsaw-based anti-racism group in 2011 found 195 incidents of racism in Polish and Ukranian soccer from September 2009 through March 2011.

“There is a racist culture in many Polish football clubs,” Rafal Pankowski, coordinator in Poland for UEFA’s Respect Diversity Campaign, told the Telegraph. “Racist materials are quite common, and distributed through fan networks and through the internet.”

On Thursday, Polish deputy Interior Minister Michal Deskur said security preparations were moving along and that “complete readiness should be confirmed in mid-May, about three weeks before the first match.”

National police have said they will be cracking down on racism and violence in the lead up to Euro 2012, and all of Europe will be tracking their ability to do so when teams and fans from 16 countries descend on Poland and Ukraine this June.

That is, assuming fans can afford it. Earlier this week, UEFA President Michel Platini railed on “bandits and crooks” in Ukraine for the astronomical hotel room prices many in the country are charging during the tournament. Some hotels are charging 10 times their normal rates while others are canceling previously-made reservations to sell more expensive rooms to incoming tourists.

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Ukrainian Activists Allegedly Kidnapped, Terrorized in Belarus Found

Thursday, December 22nd, 2011

Aleksandra Nemchinova , Inna Shevchenko, Oksana Shachko

Belarusian police have located three female activists from the Ukrainian women’s rights group Femen who say they were abducted and terrorized by security forces after they staged one of their signature topless protests against the regime of President Alyaksandr Lukashenka in Minsk.

RFE/RL’s Belarus Service reports that the women, who were found in the Yelsk district of the country’s southeastern Homel region, were taken to a local hospital for medical examinations. They are now said to be at a local police station.

A correspondent for the Belarusian news agency Belapan reported that doctors observed bruises on the women’s hands and other parts of their body.

The women told journalists at the scene that on the evening after their protest on December 19, they were at a Minsk bus station when six men abducted them and brought them to a forest far from the capital.

They repeated details about their ordeal that Femen’s leader, Anna Hutsol, had told RFE/RL earlier in the day from Kyiv.

“They are alive but not in good health. They are very scared,” Hutsol said. “They drove them around in a car all night, then brought them to the woods, poured oil on them, threatened to set them on fire, threatened them with a knife, cut their hair with a knife, videotaped everything, and then left them in the woods.”

Hustol identified the three women as Aleksandra Nemchinova, Oksana Shachko, and Inna Shevchenko and said the KGB seized their documents.

Aleksei Emelyanenko, a spokesman for the Ukrainian Embassy in Minsk, told RFE/RL that the women’s identities could not immediately be confirmed. “We hope to be able to return them to Ukraine soon and from our side, we will continue to follow their situation,” he said.

See the latest coverage by RFE/RL’s Belarus Service (in Belarusian)

Earlier in the day, Kyiv sent its embassy consul in Minsk to the region to investigate the story. He later met with the activists.

RFE/RL’s Belarus Service spoke to people in Byaki, the village where the women were found. They said the women told them that after being terrorized in the woods, their captors had brought them to the nearby border with Ukraine and ordered them to cross it. The women instead made their way to the village, where a local resident took them in.

A man who gave his name as Yuri told RFE/RL that he had lent the activists his mobile phone so they could reach Hutsol.

The Belarusian authorities have not publicly commented on the women’s allegations.

But earlier on December 20, Ukrainian Foreign Ministry spokesman Oleksandr Dikusarov told RFE/RL that officials in Minsk said no one had detained the activists and the women had left the city voluntarily.

International Protests

Femen, which claims to have hundreds of members and thousands of supporters, formed in 2008 to protest discrimination against women in what the group describes as Ukraine’s patriarchal post-Soviet society.

Its members’ signature strategy of protesting topless has earned the group admiration and ridicule, and no shortage of headlines.

The group’s agenda has expanded from protesting domestic inequalities to championing international causes.

In June, Femen activists wore hijabs, the traditional Muslim head scarf, but nothing on top, at a protest in front of Kyiv’s Saudi Arabian Embassy over Riyadh’s ban on women drivers. They’ve also stopped traffic in Zurich and caused a stir at the Vatican.

Earlier this month, Femen attempted to stage a protest in Moscow before Russia’s parliamentary elections, but were quickly overpowered by security guards.

On December 19, the first anniversary of Belarus’s disputed presidential election, the activists gathered in front of the KGB headquarters in Minsk to express solidarity with the demonstrators, politicians, and journalists who were detained in the ensuing protests and government crackdown.

Bare-chested and wearing fake Lukashenka-style mustaches, the women held placards that read, “Freedom to political prisoners” and “Long live Belarus,” a mantra of the protest movement.

One Femen member painted a red star on her stomach and partially shaved her head in imitation of Lukashenka’s receding hairline.

Several journalists were arrested while attempting to cover the group’s demonstration.

Not In Ukraine Anymore…

While Femen’s activities are largely tolerated in Ukraine, all signs of dissent are quickly quashed under the Lukashenka regime.

To intimidate activists and protesters, security forces have used tactics similar to what FEemen says happened to its three members.

Ukrainian human rights activist Yevhen Zakharov told RFE/RL that if the group’s claims are confirmed, those responsible must be held accountable.

“If this information is confirmed and it is in fact torture [used against Femen activists in Belarus], then Ukraine should demand the punishment of the law-enforcement officers responsible for it. If that is not done, then measures of diplomatic pressure should be taken against Belarus. In my view, this cannot be left without a response,” he said.

Hutsol, meanwhile, pledged to take matters into her own hands if necessary. “We’ll do everything to have the Belarusian ambassador to Ukraine deported from here,” she said from Kyiv. “If he doesn’t leave tomorrow, we’ll take him to the woods ourselves and shave his head.”
​​

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