Fascism growing, lawmaker tells Ukrainian president


KIEV, Ukraine (JTA) — A Jewish Ukrainian lawmaker urged President Victor Yuschenko to pay attention to the rapid growth of fascism in Ukrainian society. 

Aleksandr Feldman made his case Monday in an open letter to Yuschenko, according to the lawmaker’s press service. Feldman also is the president of the Ukrainian Jewish Committee and the Association of Ethnic and Cultural nongovernmental organizations of Ukraine.

In addition to the ultra-right Svoboda Party victory at the regional council election in the western region of Ternopol, Feldman noted during the last month multiethnic Ukrainian society became a witness to the advertising company SS Galychyna Division in the western city of Lvov; the call of some regional council deputies to dismantle monuments to Soviet soldiers-liberators; a brawl between an ultra-right nationalist and anti-fascist, pro-Russian youth organizations in Odessa which resulted in the murder of a nationalist activist; an attempt to distribute anti-Semitic leaflets in the central region of Cherkassy during Passover; and the vandalism of a Holocaust monument in southern Ukraine.

Ethnic and cultural communities in Ukraine, human rights and anti-fascist organizations, and World War II veterans groups are alarmed not only by the rising neo-fascist mood in Ukraine but also the inadequacy of the response by Ukrainian authorities, the statement says.

Feldman asked Yuschenko to consider how to counteract the manifestations of fascism and national chauvinism at the next meeting of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine.

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