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A crowd of around 100 Ukrainian far-right demonstrators attacked institutions linked to Russia during a nationalist rally held in Kyiv under the slogan “Death to Russia” on February 18. The event that turned violent was organized by leader of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) Mykola Kokhanivsky.
Members from other nationalist organizations, namely Bily Molot (White Hammer), the Social-National Assembly, the Black Committee, the Committee for the Release of Political Prisoners also took part in the event. They marched along the streets in the center of the city, heading for the representative office of Rossotrudnichestvo, the Russian Federal Agency for CIS Affairs, Russians Living Abroad, and International Humanitarian Cooperation.
Activists claim that Rossotrudnichestvo is an institution controlled by the Russian FSB security service. Before the beginning of the march, Kokhanivsky called on participants not to run into clashes with police and other law enforcement agencies. “We want to remind our eternal enemy once again that no one in Kyiv, Donbas, or across entire Ukraine is waiting for it. Perhaps, these are the organizations – the financial institutions of the invaders from Moscow that work [in Ukraine], banks, headquarters of collaborators, Rossotrudnichestvo, that are waiting for it.
These are who we call to come out against,” Kokhanivsky said. The protesters demanded that the “Russian institutions get out” of Ukraine. Read also Ukrainians march in Kyiv to honor Stepan Bandera The marchers set out from Kyiv’s Independence Square. Along their way, they threw several stones at the windows of Alfa Bank’s branch on Khreshchatyk, which was tightly guarded by law enforcers. Some of the protesters smashed windows in branches of the Russian-owned Sberbank and Alfa-Bank as well as the Ukrainian headquarters of Rossotrudnichestvo located at 2 Borysohlibska Street. They also chanted slogans “Down with the FSB branch,” “Crimea, Donbas and Kuban [the latter was once Ukrainian territory, now it is part of modern Russia] is Ukraine.”
Law enforcers did not detain anyone and nor did they commit any actions towards the protesters who had thrown stones. A criminal case will be opened if a party harmed files a claim, police said. Participants in the event explained that Rossotrudnichestvo was involved in anti-Ukrainian activities and propaganda of the “Russian world.” They argue that if the state of Ukraine is unable to close such institutions, then ordinary Ukrainians will do it. As UNIAN reported, several thousand people gathered for another rally, the March for Impeachment, in the center of Kyiv on February 18. It was organized by supporters of Mikheil Saakashvili. Protesters marched from Shevchenko Park to Sofiyska Square.
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