Translated by Ollie Richardson for Fort Russ
29th April, 2016
A likely ban on the celebration of Victory Day in Ukraine would be an insult to the veterans of the great Patriotic war. However, they intend to march on Khreshchatyk, even if far-right extremists open fire on them.
According to the head of the Kiev organization of veterans of Ukraine, Nikolai Martynov, the Verkhovna Rada adopting the law on the "condemnation of the communist and national socialist (Nazi) totalitarian regimes in Ukraine and prohibition of propaganda with their symbols" takes the celebration of the victory away from the veterans. He made such a statement during an interview with the Ukrainian version of "The voice".
"The presidential decree takes away the concept of the great Patriotic war, [...] takes away the celebrations on May 9th, and focuses on 8th May — the Day of remembrance and reconciliation. When Viktor Yushchenko came to power, he asked us about reconciliation. We said that the leadership of the organization cannot resolve the issue personally and offered to ask the veterans. We interviewed them, and at that time we were told by 99.9% that there cannot be reconciliation with those who are not rehabilitated. What is reconciliation? We signed a contract with Nazi Germany. She surrendered," — quotes RT.
Martynov also stressed that the decree is unconstitutional, because this decision was made without a referendum. In the case of approval of the law by the President, according to the head of the Kiev organization of veterans of Ukraine, the ban in the country will fall on the Day of Defender of the Fatherland.
"My office has a copy of a Victory banner — a veteran banner. And opposite in the city centre there are trash cans. So I'm afraid if the "Pravy sector" come, they can tie this banner around their neck and suffer in the dustbin. An element of intimidation is also felt by veterans. Lawlessness comes from the SBU, some law enforcement bodies" — said Martynov to the website "Politnavigator". He also fears that on 9th May, they may be attacked by extremists from the "Right sector".
His words were confirmed by veteran-soldier and retired Colonel Dmitri Stadnyuk. "We will never agree with the fact that you cannot celebrate May 9th [...] We will openly go to downtown. Let them try to shoot at us. We're not afraid. We will fight, if you will bring us to such a state," — he said.
As a reminder, the Ukrainian Parliament, on April 9th, passed a law condemning communist and national socialist (Nazi) totalitarian regimes in Ukraine and prohibition of propaganda with their symbols." Its goal is to "prevent the recurrence of crimes of the communist and national socialist (Nazi) totalitarian regimes, any discrimination on national, social, class, ethnic, racial or other grounds in the future, restoration of historical and social justice, and the removal of threats to the independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity, and national security of Ukraine".
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