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JEREMY CORBYN joined socialists and communists today in condemning a neonazi march in honour of the World War II-era SS Galicia division that took place in Kiev on Wednesday.
Marchers dressed in black trooped from the Arsenalna underground station to Independence Square with banners honouring the Waffen SS division, which was mainly made up of far-right Ukrainian volunteers and participated in massacres of Polish civilians, including women and children, in Palykorovy and Pidkamin.
They carried the Galicia division’s lion-emblazoned banner as well as flags of the Organisation of Ukrainian Nationalists, a Nazi collaborator army that murdered hundreds of thousands of Jews and Poles during the Holocaust.
Fascists chanted “Glory to the nation – death to the enemies,” “Glory to the soldiers of the Ukraine-Russia war” (as the Ukrainian right depict the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union) and “Galicia – Division of Heroes.”
Mr Corbyn told the Morning Star: “Seventy-five years on from the defeat of fascism it seems fascists are still active on the streets of Kiev and given free passage by the Ukrainian government.
“Fascism has to be defeated in all forms, everywhere.
“This May Day, let us unite against fascism all over the world for a future of peace and justice.”
David Rosenberg of the Jewish Socialists’ Group told the Morning Star that he was outraged to see “a march by far-right groups in Ukraine honouring the Galicia division of the Waffen SS who were fighting for the Nazis against anti-fascist partisans.
“Britain’s relationship with the Ukrainian government that permitted this march became closer when President Volodymyr Zelenskiy visited Britain last October.
“We are calling on the British government to show it is serious about opposing anti-semitism and fascism by condemning their counterparts in the strongest terms for permitting this march.”
Oleh Voloshyn, MP for the Ukrainian party Opposition Platform – For Life, said: “Britain and the West should stop pretending they don’t notice the consistent and systemic rise of far-right, openly neonazi movements in Ukraine enjoying total impunity and even random support from the government.
“Ukraine’s problems with Russia are no excuse to turn a blind eye to the formation of a bulwark of radical and militant nationalism.”
Ukrainian Communist Party leader Petro Symonenko said: “This is not some random action.
“For all the years of independence, Ukraine as a state has never voted for a UN resolution condemning glorification and propaganda of fascism and Nazism.”
He added that the Nuremberg trials had been clear that the SS volunteer battalions were as implicated in Nazi atrocities as regular Wehrmacht formations, and that a so-called anti-totalitarian law banning communist and Nazi symbols had only ever been used to prosecute communists.
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