Oleksandr Feldman: “Only police may oppose Ukrainian radicals”


February 28, 2013

Oleksandr Feldman: “Only police may oppose Ukrainian radicals”

The new extremist tricks of the Ukrainian right-wing radicals, seasonal exacerbation of political psychosis and position of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine – in the interview with the President of the Ukrainian Jewish Committee, the People’s Deputy of Ukraine, Oleksandr Feldman. 

 - Oleksandr Borysovych, the AUU “Svoboda” made an exhibition of themselves again the other day. The deputy Miroshnychenko (who called American actress born in Chernivtsi, Mila Kunis, “Zhydovka”) together with associate destroyed Lenin monument in one of the towns of Ukraine. Does this mean that Svoboda decided to switch over from anti-Semitism to anti-communism? 

- I think if to ask Miroshnychenko about nationality of Lenin, you will be answered quite predictably. So it is unknown for what Lenin suffered. February 22, during the air of the popular TV show, Miroshnychenko called Lenin “Ulyanov-Blank”, who, according to Svoboda’s representative, is guilty of all tragedies of Ukraine. Even the host of this show, Savik Shuster, was a little perplexed by the obvious anti-Semitic accent in the words of the new deputy. 

Speaking seriously, the act of hooliganism with the monument to Lenin showed the real face of the AUU “Svoboda” again; their incompatibility with the civilized ideas about politics at the level of rhetoric, principles and methods. 

- In spring, many of Ukrainian citizens, especially elders, will celebrate May 1 and 9. Three years ago, the celebration of the Victory Day in Lviv turned to mass battle with shooting, conflicts with police, fights between political opponents due to the efforts of the same Svoboda. Do you expect repetition of something similar this year? 

- Spring exacerbation of political psychosis will definitely take place. Its turning to mass battles will depend only on law-enforcement authorities. Only police may oppose Ukrainian radicals today. The position of the new heads of the MIA of Ukraine was professional until now. If police could cope with the violent persons on problem districts in Kyiv (during conflicts between activists of different parliamentary candidates), then they will be able to ensure order during mass political holidays. 

It is expected that the year 2013 will be rich in mass events with political tinge. It is the year of 70th anniversary of establishment of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (1943), and the 80th anniversary of the tragedy of Holodomor (1933). By the way, it is also the year of the 100th anniversary of the world-known anti-Semitic “Beilis case”, which took place in Kyiv (1913). 

- Don’t you think that the Ukrainian right-wing radicals lately strive for not so much to vex their political opponents – communists and the Party of Regions – as to provoke conflicts with law-enforcement authorities? 

- It is the main purpose of the leaders of Svoboda party. They deliberately create the situations when the police is forced to react to outrage in order to accuse the law-enforcement system and authorities of politically motivated use of force afterwards. They deliberately bring “activists with athletic build” in masks and hoods to their actions. They deliberately create the needed informational picture when they start to join conflicts before TV and photographic cameras. 

It is quite clear technique. As a non-systemic political force, they ignore the regulations of law and order in order to meet with a legal rebuff. It is a peculiar political masochism, to run into use of force by police in order to strengthen morbid pride and feel themselves “victims of the regime”. 

I can imagine what could happen if such radical activist splash gas on face, tear away a crash helmet or shoulder straps of police officer in the USA, Israel or any European country. This never comes into anybody’s head. However, these things constantly happen in Ukraine for some reason though. 

- What consequences this may cause as a result?   

- One may not be a prophet to predict the further situation. I think that the similar radical force with ultraleftist orientation must appear in the Crimea and in Southeast regions soon to struggle against Svoboda with the help of their methods. Everything indicates this. This niche is not occupied yet. Ukrainian communists are too adult and civilized people to “hit on the faces” of fascist-minded youngsters. Other young radicals will assume responsibility for this. 

- But then law-enforcement authorities will find themselves between the devil and the deep blue sea. And any birthday of Bandera or Lenin will be equivalent to the fall of “Chelyabinsk meteor”… 

- For this not to happen, it is necessary to toughen the responsibility for non-obedience to law-enforcement authorities, including the responsibility of people’s deputies. Any force must be exceptionally lawful and legitimate. Only police must have the right to separate participants of the political conflict. This concerns not only the end to the practice of establishment of “power brigades” under political forces, but the regulation of the work of private security structures as well.