MOSCOW, October 20 (RIA Novosti) - Neo-fascist movements in Ukraine are operating with the connivance of Kiev authorities, which is absolutely unacceptable, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Monday.
"With the connivance of the authorities, these thugs are marching under the neo-Nazi and even Nazi slogans and banners and promote an ideology that has been recognized as criminal. Moving the date of Defender of the Fatherland Day commemoration to October 14 [instead of February 23 as in other post-Soviet countries], due to the fact that on this day the Ukrainian Insurgent Army was formed, is outrageous enough," Lavrov said.
The minister added that Moscow is "not going to get off just expressing concern."
"We have been attracting the attention of the UN, the OSCE and the European Council to this issue for many months. All these organizations were founded after the victory over fascism in World War II," Lavrov stressed.
Russia's top diplomat added that apart from drawing attention to the unacceptability of such connivance of the authorities, Russia is cooperating closely with international intergovernmental and nongovernmental organizations.
On October 14, marches to mark the anniversary of the establishment of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) took place in a number of Ukrainian cities. The UPA was formed in 1942 as the military wing of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists with its proclaimed aim being the independence of Ukraine. The UPA operated mainly in western Ukraine, fighting against Soviet forces. After the war, the army continued to struggle against the Soviet regime. Glorification of the UPA and its leaders, Stepan Bandera and Roman Shukhevych, has been sharply criticized by many war veterans and politicians, who accuse Bandera of collaborating with the Nazis.