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Russian diplomat: racism and xenophobia in Ukraine have been fueled for years

April 12, 2014, 1:09 UTC+3 MOSCOW
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MOSCOW, April 12. /ITAR-TASS/. Racism and xenophobia have been fueled in Ukraine, especially in its western regions, for years, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov told Itar-Tass on Friday.

“We raised the problem of systemic incitement of racism and xenophobia in that country, especially in its western regions, back in the past century,” he said. “Calls for murders by ethnicity are nothing else but incitement to genocide, to crimes against humanity and ethnic cleansings, which are qualified as gravest crimes not only by national legislations but also by international law.”

“Those who in a frenzy of chauvinism calls to hang a Russian along with a Jew or a communist must be immediately arrested and brought to justice in line with Ukraine’s international liabilities, including in the area of human rights,” he stressed. “But now these people are marching around in squads, they have weapons and even enroll in the so-called national guards.”

“The freedom of speech and the mass media in Ukraine is a separate topic,” Gatilov went on to say. “Everything that does not fit the ‘official line’ is sidestepped or blocked. Television channels are forcibly switched off. Journalists who do not share official approaches are beaten up, intimidated, foreign journalists are expelled and banned to enter the country for several years. Moreover, attempts were made to disrupt cellular broadcasting.”

The Russian diplomat drew attention to the fact that Ukrainian mass media “pour showers of lies upon people.” “What kind of freedom of speech in that country can we talk about? Even the European Commission shared our concerns over infringement on the rights of journalists in Ukraine,” he added.

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