A member of the Ukrainian parliament from the Opposition Platform for Life Party says that fascism is returning to Ukraine. Vadim Rabinovych’s quote was immediately picked up by scores of Russian media. Accusing Ukraine of being a fascist state is a staple of the Kremlin propaganda machine. Rabinovich’s accusation however, is not supported by any factual evidence.
“Fascism has returned to our streets again. If the Prime Minister of Ukraine openly goes to concerts of a group that promotes fascism, if the monuments of liberator heroes are demolished every two hours but throughout Ukraine new monuments are unveiled to people who killed hundreds of civilians, Belarusians, Poles, Jews, dissident Ukrainians, the war concerns each of us. That’s why today we must understand that we are also at the forefront and we must not let fascism pass” Rabinovych said on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Ukraine from Nazi occupation.
The upper house of the Russian parliament, the Federation Council also picked up on Rabinovych’s fake. Senator Vladimir Dzhabarov announced that he is worried about the situation in Ukraine. “Fascism is raising its head there and we will not even notice this line between nationalism and fascism” Djabarov said.
Ukrainian Prime Minister Oleksiy Honcharuk and Veterans’ Affairs Minister Oksana Kolyada attended a charity concert on the occasion of the Defender of the Homeland holiday. The proceeds of the concert which was sponsored by Ukraine’s Veterans Movement and the Honor of the Nation movement were donated to the Kyiv military hospital. One of the groups performing at the concert, Sokyra Peruna, positions itself as a Ukrainian “white power rock” group.
Prime Minister Honcharuk said he accepted the invitation to the concert to support Ukraine’s veterans, a concert that featured different groups and different people. ”It was not a concert of one specific group that I specifically went to because I’m their fan” he said.
On his Facebook page Honcharuk wrote that he had nothing to do with the concert and had no idea of who the performers would be. This is the business of the veterans who organized the concert, he wrote and added that he does not share or advocate any misanthropic ideology, neither Nazi, for fascist or communist.
Rabinovych’s claim that monuments to World War II liberators are being demolished does not stand up to scrutiny. Ukraine’s law that condemns Nazi and communist regimes in Ukraine and bans the propagation of their symbols refers to the demolition of symbols of communist totalitarianism. The law notes that the demolition does not affect monuments and commemorative signs associated with the resistance and the expulsion of Nazis from Ukraine and the development of science and culture.
When the law was adopted in 2015 Volodymyr Viatrovych, the director of the National Memory Institute said the law did not apply to monuments honoring the participants and victims of WWII.
Another law also adopted in 2015 mandates the protection and preservation of monuments and commemorative signs that honor the participants and victims of WWII.
StopFake has debunked several fakes about the alleged rise of fascism and Nazism in Ukraine; we’ve analyzed the theses used by Russian propagandists including a recent article on the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Ukraine from Nazi invaders.