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Neo-Nazi Appointed Kiev Police Chief

Ukraine human rights group:

  • claims appointment did not follow proper procedure
  • insists neo-Nazis are not suitable for manegerial positions in the police force
  • nonetheless praises the appointee in question as courageous liberator
MORE: Ukraine

For the Western media the main story of Ukraine parliamentary elections had been that the far-right Svoboda party failed to pass the 5% treshold to take seats in the parliament and that the influence of nationalistic radicals on the Ukrainian political scene had therefore waned.

Svodoba, however, was only one vehicle for extremists. These also organized as the populist-extremist Radical Party of Oleg Lyashko which very much did capture seats in the Duma.

Even more critically, extremists' clout has grown due to the electoral success of the People's Front party of the Prime Minister Yatsenyuk.

During the campaign the supposedly mainstream People's Front set out to boost its nationalist credentials by attracting nationalist radicals from the volunteer batallions, at least some of which espouse xenophobic extremism.

Having gotten in bed with them, and profited from the association, Yatsenyuk's party now has to share the spoils, thus news like this one: a Neo-Nazi appointed Kiev police chief.

The complaint bellow is the work of non-extremist Euro Maidan supporters who are clearly displeased, but the fact they can do nothing about it, goes to show the extent to which the ruling mainstream politicans are beholden to radicals including neo-Nazis.

Indeed, you can see that the non-extremist Maidanites themselves, even as they protest appointing them to positions of power, are inclined to pay generous lip service to extemists for their war service, which goes to show how much their stock has risen in post-Maidan Ukraine.

This is an excerpt from an article that originally appeared at Human Rights in Ukraine

In times of war the public may well vote for candidates distinguished by courage and self-sacrifice, regardless of their political views or experience. It is unacceptable for the Interior Minister to base an important police appointment on similar criteria.

The recent appointment as Kyiv regional police head of Vadim Troyan, deputy commander of the Azov battalion and member of a neo-Nazi organization, was a serious and dangerous mistake.

The Azov Battalion, made up of volunteers under Andriy Biletsky and Vadim Troyan, has defended Ukraine since the first days of the fighting in Donbas.  In announcing Troyan’s appointment, Interior Minister Arsen Avakov asserted that Troyan had “in conditions of conflict proven his right to the public’s TRUST.” [...]

This process was supposed to be carried out in consultation with civic associations and after the public were given an opportunity to express their views. 

Had this procedure been followed, it is inconceivable that the Interior Minister would have appointed the 35-year-old leading member of ‘Patriot of Ukraine’, an organization classified by authoritative researcher Viacheslav Likhachev as neo-Nazi. [...]

Likhachev has pointed to two major reasons for concern about this appointment: his involvement in ‘Patriot of Ukraine’ and alleged implication in violent seizures of newspaper kiosks.

Troyan, he asserts, was “during the second half of the 2000s one of the key activists and members of the neo-Nazi ‘Patriot of Ukraine’ organization. Since current membership now appears to be denied, it should be noted that Troyan stood for parliament this year as a member of the People’s Front.  He is described on their site as being a member of ‘Patriot of Ukraine’.

Political views cease to be an individual’s personal business where they can seriously impinge upon others’ rights and breed intolerance. This applies fully to ‘Patriot of Ukraine’ in the form that emerged from 2005 in Kharkiv.

The paramilitary organization espoused xenophobic and neo-Nazi ideas, and was engaged in violent attacks against migrants, foreign students in Kharkiv and those opposing its views. [...]

No defense

The Azov Battalion has attracted a great deal of attention because of the involvement, at least at command level, of people with neo-Nazi views and the controversial symbols, including the wolf’s hook, which its members wear. [...]

It is clear from Avakov’s comments about Troyan that the latter’s role in Azov was a major factor in his appointment in the police force and this is a different matter.

Avakov claims that the appointment is in the spirit of the reform of the police service. It is nothing of the sort. Not only was there no openness and public discussion before the appointment, but there is now concealment of Troyan’s views. 

‘Patriot of Ukraine’ is not a banned organization, and membership in it is quite legal. Involvement in an organization which espouses xenophobic and neo-Nazi views must however be taken into account when determining suitability for managerial posts in the police force. [...]

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