Immortal rgiment [A. Kolesnikov © Rossa Primavera News Agency]
A 73-years old resident of the city of Vinnitsa, Ivan Bondarchuk, an organizer of the Immortal Regiment march in the city, the Deputy Head of the Union of Left-Wing Forces (ULF) party, was arrested by law enforcement officials on May 20 on treason charges, the party leader Vasiliy Volga reported on May 21 on his Facebook page.
According to his report, “Yesterday, Ivan Nikolaevich Bondarchuk was arrested; he is my Deputy and the leader of the Vinnitsa regional unit of the Union of Left-Wing Forces, member of the Political Council. Ivan Nikolaevich, who is 73-years old, was arrested “for betrayal of the Motherland”, and he faces imprisonment for up to 15 years.”
The ULF leader expressed discontent with this charge; he said, “Ivan Nikolaevich is one of the most honest and decent people I have met in my life. He is absolutely in love with Ukraine, and especially with his Vinnitsa land.”
The party leader noted that officially the arrest was made on charges of the preparation of an action against President Pyotr Poroshenko. However, Volga expressed confidence that the real reason of the arrest was the organization of the Immortal Regiment march in Vinnitsa this year. “What was that in fact? Retaliation for the 9th of May. Today, they will retaliate against all those who organized the Immortal Regiment, all those who marched on the 9th of May with portraits of their liberator ancestors. Back then, on May 9, they simply could not make a slaughter. They wanted to very much, but they could not do it because the Eurovision was held. It would have been inappropriate. But now it’s alright. Now they can do anything,” he said.
Since the coup d’état in early 2014, the new Ukrainian authorities consistently pursue a policy of de-russification and decommunization of Ukraine. For example, in 2014 in Ukraine, all the major Russian TV channels were banned; then, a wave of violence against Soviet memorials and monuments began, followed by a new wave of changing the names of streets, cities, and other geographical objects perceived by the Ukrainian authorities as associated with the USSR and Russia. All the while, people who carry St. George ribbons have been persecuted; from this year on, the St. George ribbon is completely banned along with the Victory Banner. Last week, the Russian social media “Vkontakte” and “Odnoklasniki” were banned in Ukraine, along with other IT companies like Yandex and Mail.ru. A bill against the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate) is being drafted.
Source: Rossa Primavera News Agency