About a hundred activists gathered in Mykhailivska Square on January 19 to hold a rally under the slogan “To remember means to fight on.” Its organizer was the January 19 Ukrainian Committee initiative.
The black posters read: “Solidarity instead of violence,” “For a society without xenophobia,” “Against political terror.” Participants of the rally lit lamps and called for fighting neo-fascism, just as Stanislav Markelov and Anastasia Baburova had done.
The Day covered the story of Baburova, a native of Sevastopol, on quite a few occasions. We talked to the journalist’s parents more than once as well, for her story tells us about the path chosen by this remarkable girl, who found Sevastopol too provincial for her tastes, and eventually chose the path of a Russian journalist, but asked her parents to write her letters in Ukrainian a year before her death.
Baburova and Markelov opposed xenophobia and racism in Russian society and exposed Russian military crimes in Chechnya.
They died in Moscow in 2009, killed by far-right thugs. Many cities have hosted regular commemorative events for them since 2009.
“The Russian nationalism is an international danger. The war unleashed by Russia is a result of stirring up nationalist hysteria in that country,” participant of the Kyiv rally Vitalii Dudin maintained. “However, we should not forget that the Ukrainian society, too, includes people who hold far-right beliefs. It weakens our society and isolates Ukraine to an extent. We need consistent anti-fascist propaganda.”
“I come to this event every year to remember the victims of modern fascism,” admitted another participant of the Kyiv rally, named Denys. “Many members of fascist groups fight for the so-called Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics. The problem of neo-fascism is on the margins of the public debate, but it is highly relevant and we should keep discussing it.”
Similar commemorative events are held this year in Moscow, Irkutsk, Minsk, and Kharkiv.