Ukraine: Video of pogrom against Roma shows neo-Nazis chasing children, throwing rocks at them and using tear gas
Members of the Ukrainian neo-Nazi organization C14 set fire to a camp not far from the center of Kiev on Saturday, 21 April that had been built by Romani people, most of whom are originally from the Carpathian Region. Video footage of the pogrom has been published to the Internet.
The video shows children who are crying in fear and their parents fleeing a group of masked neo-Nazis. The extremists throw rocks at the children and spray them with tear gas.
Prior to the footage being publicized, the neo-Nazis alleged that they had first attempted to legally, non-violently convince the Romani people to leave the camp before burning it down. The video demonstrates that those claims are not true and documents the neo-Nazis assaulting small Romani children.
The neo-Nazis have justified their attack by alleging that the Romani people were camping at the location illegally. According to news server LB.ua, the Chief of Police in Kiev, Andrei Kryshchenko, first said the fire had been caused by "volunteers burning garbage" at the location, not by an attack on a Romani camp.
Kryshchenko also told the media that police have not obtained any complaints of beatings or other violence from anybody Romani. According to the Slovak news server Aktuality.sk, the radical nationalists had previously given the camp inhabitants an ultimatum to clear out from the locality by Saturday.
The right-wing extremists are now threatening to continue their arson, according to Aktuality.sk. Currently there are still about three or four other temporary camps in Kiev or its immediate surroundings that have been built by Romani people from the Carpathian Region, according to Aktuality.sk.
Many Ukrainian media outlets, including the Ukrainian edition of Pravda, reported the attack. The ultra-right C14 group was established around 2009 and together with its sympathizers has attacked many public activists, causing them serious physical harm, Aktuality.sk reports.
Members of C14 have strong ties to the radical group Right Sector (Pravý sektor). After Russia annexed Crimea, C14 deployed some of its members to do battle in eastern Ukraine.
C14 recruits new members from youth sports clubs in particular. They attempt to create a good name for themselves with the public by organizing collections for the Ukrainian Army.
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