Less than two years ago, the Ukraine’s parliament (Verkhovna Rada) voted to outlaw the St George’s Ribbon, an emblem often worn to commemorate those who liberated the Soviet Union from Hitler’s rule. Up to seven million Ukrainian infantrymen comprised part of the Red Army during their struggle against Nazi Germany, as Hitler was finally broken in the east.
By winter 1943, the once apparently indestructible Wehrmacht was spinning on its tail, their officers with their heads turning about westward, as they gradually retreated towards the German frontiers. Come the spring of 1945, about 2.5 million dead Ukrainian soldiers lay strewn across central and eastern Europe, many of their bodies never to be recovered.
The decision by an increasingly far-right Ukrainian parliament to ban remembrance symbols which commemorate those who fought against the Third Reich is, therefore, a desecration of their memory. It is an attempt to wash over that awful suffering the Ukrainian state endured during the Nazi occupation, with Hitler outlining plans to turn the country into a servile colony of Germanic dominion.
Over elapsing time from the February 2014 US-instituted “pro-democracy revolution”, an ever expanding group of neo-Nazis has been elected to office. Notable amid these menacing figures is the far-right military commander Yuriy Bereza (image on the right), an MP since November 2014 who was elected under the title “People’s Deputy of Ukraine”.
Bereza is a member of fascist-infiltrated party, People’s Front, which counts among its prominent MPs the neo-Nazi Andriy Parubiy, Chairman of the Ukrainian parliament since April 2016. In the early 1990s, Parubiy co-founded the far-right Social-National Party of Ukraine with fellow extremist Oleh Tyahnybok, that later became known as the Svoboda (Freedom) party.
When, in May 2017, a few of the Ukraine’s conscientious MPs objected to moves in banning the St George’s Ribbon, Bereza roared down from his parliamentary seat that he would like to “grab a machine gun and shoot those bast*rds”. Bereza cuts an intimidating figure. He is a tall man routinely clad in full army fatigues, with tightly-cropped hair, broad shoulders and stern expression.
In December 2018, Bereza punched in the face Nestor Shufrych, an MP with the centre-left party For Life,