Friday, August 26, 2016

Ukraine Unspun

Are Non-Russian Ethnic Minorities Facing Persecution In Ukraine?

Laszlo Brenzovics deputy president of the Hungarian Cultural Assiciation in Transcarpathia, points on a map during a meeting with the press at the Hungarian Institute in Berehove, Ukraine.
Laszlo Brenzovics deputy president of the Hungarian Cultural Assiciation in Transcarpathia, points on a map during a meeting with the press at the Hungarian Institute in Berehove, Ukraine.
Since Ukraine's new government in Kyiv took shape in late February, the Russian Foreign Ministry has consistently decried alleged persecution of ethnic Russians in the country.
But on March 28, the Foreign Ministry expanded its accusations to include persecution of ethnic Germans, Czechs, and Hungarians.
"Because of this, a significant increase in the number of people wishing to temporarily or permanently leave their historic homeland has been recorded," says a statement. "More and more people are seeking asylum from Ukraine in Russia."
As we reported here last week, there has been very little evidence of refugees -- ethnic Russian or otherwise -- attempting to enter Russia. The claims appear to be part of a coordinated effort to discredit the Ukrainian government in Kyiv.
Still, we decided to take a look at each of the new groups Moscow claims "seriously fears for their lives" and determine if there was any merit to the statement. We found that although there is evidence of lingering tension -- particularly among ethnic Hungarians in Transcarpathia -- there is little evidence to back up Moscow's dramatic accusations.
Let's address each group separately:
Germany's embassy in Kyiv rejected the claim, saying that ethnic Germans were well-integrated into Ukrainian society and were now playing an "effective part in the construction of the new Ukrainian state."
RFE/RL did not find any reports of ethnic Germans claiming persecution in Ukraine.
Ukraine's Volyn region has a small community of ethnic Czechs and in mid-March a representative from the Czech Foreign Ministry said that about 45 families from the region had asked in a letter for help with repatriation.
A man claiming to represent the Volyn Czechs in the Czech Republic, Antonin Holc, told Czech media that there had recently been an increase in crime and insecurity in Volyn. He also claimed that three years ago he was indirectly threatened by nationalists on a visit to Ukraine.
But there have been no other reported claims of ethnic-rooted intimidation, and Johana Grohova, a spokeswoman for the Czech Foreign Ministry, told RFE/RL's Russian Service that she was unaware of any infringement of rights or persecution of ethnic Czechs in Ukraine. She said ethnic Czechs were likely experiencing the same concerns that other Ukrainians now face.
"Without a doubt, like most Ukrainian citizens, these people are concerned about the situation in and around the country, but we have no factual basis for discussion of persecution of ethnic Czechs in Ukraine," she said.
Foreign Minister Lubomir Zaoralek on March 26 ascribed economic motivations to the requests for repatriation.
Several thousand Volyn Czechs repatriated after the Czechoslovak transition from communism in 1989. There are no longer official figures for their population in Ukraine, though Czech media say they number at least 20,000.
There are 162,000 ethnic Hungarians, largely located in the Transcarpathian region along Ukraine's western border with Poland, Slovakia, Romania, and Hungary.
Since Ukraine's independence there have been intermittent tensions between ethnic Ukrainians and Hungarians, who make up 12 percent of the Transcarpathian population and largely backed former President Viktor Yanukovych in the 2010 elections.
There were reports in late February and early March that the ethnic Hungarian community had faced intimidation by far-right groups, including the storming of the town hall of Berehove, a majority Hungarian community, by members of the ultranationalist Right Sector group.
The Hungarian Foreign Ministry released a statement shortly after Kyiv's new government took charge, condemning "intimidating action carried out by extremists." And in a meeting with a Transcarpathian community leader on March 26, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban called the safety of ethnic Hungarians his top priority in Ukraine. He did not publicly address charges of ethnic intimidation, however. The ministry did not reply to an RFE/RL request for comment.
While there is clearly tension, RFE/RL could not confirm any further reports of conflict between Ukrainian nationalists and ethnic Hungarians. And a correspondent for RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service in Transcarpathia said there had been no recent reports of specific incidents between ethnic Hungarians and Ukrainians.
-- Glenn Kates, with RFE/RL's Russian and Ukrainian services
This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
by: Eugenio from: Vienna
April 01, 2014 17:17
Well, but maybe you, guys, can try to unseat him the next time - 6 years from now. By then NATO will have for sure won the war in Afghanistan, will have removed Assad from Syria, Ahmadinejad from Iran, Chávez from Venezuela, Fidel from Cuba (ah, right, the death of the latter two statesmen has been already been announced by the "free media" 245245 times), not to forget about Lukashenko, Yanoukovitch, Kim Jong Un, Mugabe and Hu Jintao. And thus by that time NATO will have more resources to dedicate to the never-ending exercise of removing Putin from power in Russia - at least in the heads of RFE/RL readers :-).

by: American Tolerast
April 01, 2014 21:02
Mother Russia has long, glorious tradition of defending Germans, Hungarians, and Czechs from scourge of rule by Germans, Hungarians, Czechs, and other nekulturny, tolerasti non-Russians.

by: Konstantin from: Los Angeles
April 02, 2014 06:19
The core of all problems is race war by Russia.
Before "Big Depression", Russians told
Americans that high productivity would lead
to "Socialism of giving necessities of life" to
the pure - thus, better to start race war of
Russians, Germans, British and Scandinavians
against majority of Americans, firing them and
starving them to death - repopulate America.
No buying power was anymore - "big depression".
Similarly Russia, created by non-Russian nations.
Peter created Great Russia - let's kill him and conquer,
plunder and enslave their countries, including Peter's
Uncle, Georgian King - to breed race war of Varaga-Prussaka.
It ended with backward bleeding Russian Empire –
creators of Russia wouldn't die at their feet and create "Great Russia".
Stalin and CIS of non-Russians states created superpower, USSR –
Russia usurped it, put Stalin under house arrest, refused to restore CIS,
return Ukrainians and their industries back and started influx
by ethnic Russians - let's send third of non-Russians to labor camps,
third kill or vanish, and the best third make intellectual slaves –
breed race war of Varaga-Prussaka.
“This time non-Russian best will create for us, like their Masters!”
This time we will use nerve gas "Cheremushka", non-lethal doses, and Lobotomies in "Treblinka" and "Anaverde".
"Kuda oni denutsya!", said Russians during Brezhnev.
Creators of USSR Superpower, usurped by Russia, will not
die at their feet and create "Great Russia".


When I was only 4 and was arrested by KGB leaders, to plagiarize or sentence to death for refusing them, as I did, the arresting me aged women said:
- “They will condemn themselves and their World.”
I said the same to their boss:
- “You will condemn yourself and your World.”
It looks like they did, again and again…

by: Fangio from: Canada
April 02, 2014 21:38
The question should be: Are Non-Russian Ethnic Minorities Facing Persecution In Russia?
In Response

by: Ellin Callvis from: Canada
April 06, 2014 02:49
Fangio - Russia has 185 distinct ethnics amongst it's population - That is more than even in our Canada... and I suspect our Aboriginal women are murdered at a higher rate than any of those Russian ethnics.
If war breaks out over the Ukraine crisis, I would blame the USA more than Russia - don't go believing what the media reports here.
America is the enemy of the rest of the world, and of Mother Earth. If this civilisation is to survive, America must die [in other words, there is no hope for us]
In Response

by: peter from: ottawa
April 06, 2014 11:23
Ellin speak for yourself, obviously you live in a tent somewhere near an outhouse. Millions flee dictatorships to live in Canada and the US if America is the enemy then pack up and leave. Nobody cares should you die with no hope. Good riddance!

About #UkraineUnspun

The information war is in full swing in the tense standoff between Ukraine and Russia. In an attempt to present a clearer picture, #UkraineUnspun will unravel information coming from Russian and Ukrainian media, politicians and activists. Written by Glenn Kates and contributors from RFE/RL.

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