Ekaterina Vinnik on Vesti.FM: antisemitism is a tool of political struggle in Ukraine
Antisemitism is one of the tools of the political struggle in Ukraine, the analyst of Vestnik Kavkaza, Ekaterina Vinnik, told in the National Question program on Vest.FM, commenting on the desecration of the monument to Ukrainian Jewish writer Sholom Aleichem on Rognedinskaya Street in the center of Kyiv.
First of all, the expert emphasized that modern Ukraine uses antisemitism as a tool of political struggle as it was in pre-war Germany. She recalled the Jewish pogroms during World War II in the western regions of Ukraine and the antisemitic rhetoric of Ukrainian nationalists of that time, reinforced by cooperation with Nazi Germany.
“The grim legacy of those years still exists in Western Ukraine, while it comes back to life mainly against the backdrop of an internal political confrontation. According to the United Jewish Community of Ukraine, in 2018, the number of complaints on anti-Semitism was only 38 per country with a population of 45 million. At the same time, the Pew Research Center noted a decline in antisemitism, calling Ukraine the most loyal country in Eastern Europe. Moreover, the country was excluded from the list of states in which Jewish origin could play a negative role in the election race, ”she said.
This was confirmed by the victory of Vladimir Zelensky, however, after he came to power, antisemitism began to grow again.
“Not everyone agrees that the problem of antisemitism in Ukraine has been resolved. The former security chief of President of Ukraine Viktor Yushchenko and vice-president of the European Jewish Congress Yevgeny Chervonenko called the heroization of Nazi criminals and leaders of Ukrainian nationalists the main reason for the growth of antisemitic sentiments among the country's population. In October 2019, the Verkhovna Rada deputy from the Opposition Platform - For Life party, Vadim Rabinovich, announced the return of fascism to Ukraine in connection with the demolition of monuments to Soviet soldiers, renaming of streets in honor of Nazi accomplices and attempts to rewrite history,” Ekaterina Vinnik said.
"Not all politicians are happy with the new president coming to power, and it is likely that in the near future, reports on nationalism and antisemitism will be heard more often, and this form of national intolerance will once again be used as a tool of political confrontation," the analyst of Vestnik Kavkaza concluded, adding that the authorities still have not curtailed their support of right-wing radical ideologies.