28 September 2013

"Liberal" Ukrainian media defend neo-Nazis and racists

An important notice from the Stop far right violence in Ukraine group:

Several days ago popular Ukrainian media source LB.ua published an article written by Evhen Karas' (Svoboda party deputy assistant and one of the main members of paramilitary group C14 assosiated with Svoboda). In the article the author blames FARE along with a couple of left wing activists for FARE's report on racist conduct of Ukrainian football fans and for the announcement that Ukrainian national team may be docked points and made to play the next match behind the closed doors.

Pavlo Klymenko, FARE Eastern Europe Development office, turned to LB.ua in order to publish an answer to Karas' article to unmask fact fudging in Karas' text. Firstly, Pavlo was asked by the editorial board to cut his text. Then, the editors turned the text down by saying that "the text is full of accusations not supported by facts". It is interesting that Evhen Karas' text did not provoke such reaction on the part of the editors, though it had a lot of logical fallacies and was full of incriminations and accusations not supported by any arguments and facts.

Neo-Nazi thugs are defended by Ukrainian "liberal" media
After the clamour was raised and LB.ua was blamed in not following the code of journalist ethics and objectivity, the editors finally agreed to publish the text though they have cut it again and published it with a small biased preface full of grammatical mistakes. The same day the text was published on the resource lb.ua appeared news about FARE being biased. Moreover, another popular media source pravda.com.ua published two articles also blaming FARE for its alleged biases and claiming Ukrainian fans not racist.

Ukrainian media publish articles defending racist conduct and hinder the publication of texts standing for antifascism. Far right rhetoric is normalized in Ukrainian media discourse.

Longer version of Pavlo Klymenko's reply published on Korrespondent.net (in Ukrainian. English translation of the text will appear asap).

FARE has also issue the Statement concerning Ukraine:

The Fare Network notes the action taken by FIFA in response to racism at the FIFA World Cup qualifier between Ukraine and San Marino on September 6, at the Lviv Arena.

There has been widespread media speculation at the nature of the reports made by Fare observers at this match. There has also been speculation about the identity and motivations of the observers.

All observers sent by Fare are from an international pool of specialists. They have knowledge of the football environments they are sent into and are neutral and unbiased in their affiliations. Neutrality is a guaranteed and fundamental part of the system.

It has been disappointing to see some of the commentary on Fare staff and volunteers in Ukraine. Any attempts to intimidate, or encourage attacks on, Fare staff are misguided and will trigger an alert to international human rights bodies.

As a follow up to the sanction imposed by FIFA, the Fare Executive Director will write to the Ukrainian Federation to offer our help in dealing with such issues in the future.

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