In Odessa, law enforcement agencies began criminal proceedings on the use of "communist symbols." We are talking about a sticker with the image of Joseph Stalin, which was placed on his car by a 45-year-old resident of the city.
Odessa nationalists revealed the "offense" and reported it to the police. As one of them wrote, Demyan Ganul, on his Facebook page, he found a car with a portrait of Stalin, walking along Marseille Street. Ganul called the police, however, according to him, supporters of a certain "nonexistent army of the ONR" also arrived. After a fight between ideological opponents, a brawl ensued.
As a result, the car owner still took a portrait of the Soviet leader from the glass. However, he still must answer before the law for his actions, according to Ukrainian radicals
According to the Odessa Department of the National Police, law enforcement authorities opened a case against the owner of the portrait under Part 1 of Art. 436-1 (production, dissemination of communist, Nazi symbols and propaganda of communist and national socialist (Nazi) totalitarian regimes) of the Criminal Code of Ukraine.
It should be noted that earlier in Odessa a scandal erupted around the "hotbed of Stalinism" in one of the pavilions of the repair of equipment, where activists noticed portraits of Joseph Stalin and Felix Dzerzhinsky.
Another goal of the Ukrainian radicals has recently become a sign of the Odessa Regional War Relief Fund named after Marshal G.K. Zhukov. As the aforementioned Demyan Ganul wrote on his page on the social network, in mid-March, unknown persons dismantled the sign.
The figure of the Soviet Marshal arouses particular dislike of Ukrainian nationalists.
So, in early February, Odessa activists removed the last bas-relief of Zhukov in the city. Outraged citizens tried to prevent them, led by the deputy of the Odessa regional council Bogdan Giganov, but the radicals could not be stopped. Earlier, activists also dismantled the bust of the Marshal, standing on the corner of Heavenly Hundred Avenues (until 2016, the avenue also bore the name of Marshal G.K. Zhukov. - RT ), memorial plaques were also removed at the regional military enlistment office and the house where the military commander lived.
In Kharkiv, a dispute continues over the renaming of Zhukov Avenue, which in 2016 was named in honor of the Ukrainian dissident Petro Grigorenko by order of the head of the Kharkiv Regional State Administration.
In February, the Kharkiv City Council voted to return the avenue named after Soviet Marshal Georgy Zhukov. Earlier, veteran organizations made such an appeal to the authorities.
Still on course
Recall that a large-scale decommunization campaign was launched in Ukraine immediately after the 2014 coup. Then, monuments to Soviet political and military figures began to be massively demolished throughout the country. Only in the first two days after the power passed into the hands of protesters, dozens of Lenin monuments were destroyed in Ukraine. Nationalists and monuments to the heroes of the Great Patriotic War did not spare.
Later, this practice received legislative justification: the Rada adopted the document "On the condemnation of the communist and national socialist (Nazi) totalitarian regimes in Ukraine and the ban on the promotion of their symbolism" on April 9, 2015. From that moment, a campaign began to change the names given in the Soviet era. For example, the city of Dnepropetrovsk, which received its name in honor of one of the leaders of the Ukrainian SSR Grigory Petrovsky, was renamed the Dnieper. Kirovograd, in turn, began to bear the name of the Ukrainian playwright Mark Kropyvnytsky, Dzerzhinsk turned into Toretsk, and Dneprodzerzhinsk into Kamenskoye.
- Unknowns destroy a monument to Vladimir Lenin in Kharkov
- RIA News
- © Igor Chekachkov
In the spring of 2019, Petro Poroshenko, who was then the president of Ukraine, said that the process of decommunization in the country was "practically completed."
After Vladimir Zelensky became the head of state, the campaign for renaming toponyms stopped. In some cases, the reverse trend was even outlined - for example, in June last year, by a decision of the Kyiv District Court, the renaming of Moscow Avenue and Vatutin Avenue was canceled in honor of Stepan Bandera and Roman Shukhevych.
However, a steady trend to curtail decommunization did not appear. On the contrary, in July 2019, the Constitutional Court of Ukraine (KSU) recognized the law “On the condemnation of the communist and national socialist totalitarian regimes” and the ban on the propaganda of their symbols in accordance with the basic law of the republic.
As Vladimir Shapovalov, deputy director of the Institute of History and Politics of the Moscow State Pedagogical University, noted in a RT commentary, although Vladimir Zelensky conducted his campaign from a conciliatory position, the head of state is not now taking the real steps to eliminate hostility in Ukrainian society, limiting himself to non-binding rhetoric.
“Most likely, this is due to the fact that Zelensky is not able to control the ongoing processes in Ukraine. There are other centers of political power in the country, in the interests of which there is by no means a historical reconciliation of the nation.
“Decommunization is just an excuse”
Although the Ukrainian authorities at the official level demonized the communist past and the Soviet leaders, this does not prevent Kiev from accepting help from communist China during the COVID-19 epidemic, experts say. As of March 29, in Ukraine there were 470 cases of coronavirus infection, ten people died.
- Wuhan City, China
- © Aly Song
The Chinese authorities have previously been able to turn the tide with the spread of a dangerous infection and are now providing humanitarian support to other countries, including Ukraine. So, on March 29, the Chinese side sent another batch of medical masks, protective suits and other anti-epidemic drugs to the republic.
At the same time, Ukraine does not have to rely on serious support from its political partners, the European Union and the United States, experts say.
“In a pandemic, European countries cannot provide significant support even to their EU partners, let alone Ukraine. The same applies to the United States: the White House has now taken a very selfish position. However, Ukraine needs help, given the economic situation in the country. In general, it can be expected that after the pandemic, many countries will change their geopolitical orientation, moving towards cooperation with Beijing. It can spread to Ukraine, ”Shapovalov said.
As the Italian representative to the EU, Maurizio Massari, previously said, Brussels' inaction towards Rome showed a lack of unity in Europe. At the same time, Italy has already received support from the communist PRC and Cuba.
- President of Ukraine Vladimir Zelensky
- © Valentyn Ogirenko
In an interview with RT, Igor Shishkin, an expert at the Institute of CIS Countries, explained Kiev’s readiness to cooperate with a state that officially adheres to communist ideology, because Ukrainian “decommunization” is actually based on purely Russophobic motives.
“In the case of Ukrainian de-communization, we are talking about de-Russification. Ukraine, if necessary, will receive assistance from any communist state, despite all the anti-communist rhetoric. Decommunization is only an excuse for an anti-Russian course in politics. Therefore, cooperation with the communist countries during the coronavirus pandemic will not generally affect the course of Kiev, ”the expert noted.
Vladimir Shapovalov adheres to another point. He does not exclude that in the foreseeable future Kiev will have to receive support not only from the PRC, but also, possibly, from Russia and Cuba.
“It was these states that had previously supported Italy. Unfortunately, now no country is safe from being in the position of Italy. And Ukraine will have to cope with the crisis in an already undermined economy with a destroyed healthcare system, ”said Shapovalov.
In his opinion, the epidemic may reveal the fallacy of the course that the Ukrainian leadership has followed in recent years.
“It cannot be ruled out that in such a situation, under the pressure of public opinion, Kiev will have to adjust its position in relation to Moscow,” Vladimir Shapovalov summed up.