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Ukraine Neo-Nazis attack state TV CEO, force resignation letter, no charges brought

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Originally published at Digital Journal.

(Kiev) Ministers of parliament in Ukraine who are members of the Neo-Nazi Svoboda party have assaulted the CEO of the state television channel, forcing him to sit at his desk and sign a letter of resignation.

Although the brutal attack was videotaped by another Svoboda member present and posted by the assailants on Youtube, the Ukrainian Parliament has thus far only censured the primary assailant, MP Igor Miroshnichenko, and the state prosecutor's office has promised an "investigation." No criminal charges have been brought in answer to the violent physical assault.

The incident is the latest power play by the Neo-Nazis in Ukraine, who have emerged as a dominant force in the new coalition government. The Neo-Nazi parties seem to be sending a message that opposition and those who offend them will be met with naked force.

The Svoboda ministers were angry that the television station ran footage of Russian President Vladimir Putin announcing that Crimea would become part of the Russian Federation.

Svoboda recently won 37 seats in Parliament, and now control a number of government ministries, including the defense ministry and the state prosecutor's office. The Neo-Nazi parties Svoboda and Right Sector have gained power since the street protests which forced former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych to resign.

In a video made of the assault, filmed by the Svoboda ministers and posted on Youtube, MP Igor Miroshnichenko can be see lecturing the CEO of National Television Company of Ukraine, Oleksandr Panteleymonov, then proceeding to assault him, delivering blows to the head, as the other Svoboda MPs watch. Miroshnichenko forcibly sits the CEO at his desk and demands he write and sign a resignation letter, which the CEO does. At one point another Svoboda MP throttles Panteleymonov from behind his chair. The terrorized Panteleymonov complies with demands.

Freeze frame of blow to back of head, from Miroshnichenko to Panteleymonov.
(image by Public domain)
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Panteleymonov being choked from behind.
(image by Public domain)

The US State Department has issued a statement calling the assault "unacceptable," and lauded the announcement by the Ukrainian government of a criminal investigation. But despite the videotaped evidence of the attack posted by Svoboda itself, no arrests have been made. The attack seems to be a gambit by Svoboda to show that physical intimidation at the highest levels will result in no serious consequences, thus chilling the atmosphere for would-be opponents.
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Blow by another minister to head.
(image by Public domain)

(image by Public domain)

During the street protests of recent months, which have been revealed to have been encouraged and financed by the US State Department, the Neo-Nazi parties pushed aside peaceful protesters and were given six major cabinet ministries in the new government, including the Ministry of Defense and the Prosecutor General's office.

Questions have arisen over which side deployed the shooters who killed both protesters and police last January, which sparked the resignation and flight of the former Ukrainian president. A phone call was leaked of the Estonian foreign minister saying that he had been told it was opposition leaders who were behind the shooting, not the government.

During the height of the street protests, Russia Today (RT) released video of young, athletic men engaged in pitched street battles with police, brandishing and wearing the wolfsangel symbol of various units of the Nazi Waffen SS. RT has also released video of Right Sector leader Aleksandr Shevchenko issuing demands to a Ukrainian city council, while branding an AK-47.

Svoboda members
Svoboda members
(image by Unknown)

Oleh Tyahnybok  leader of Neo-Nazi Svoboda
Oleh Tyahnybok, leader of Neo-Nazi Svoboda
(image by Unknown)

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Ralph Lopez majored in Economics and Political Science at Yale University. He writes for Truth Out, Alternet, Consortium News, Op-Ed News, and other Internet media. He reported from Afghanistan in 2009 and produced a short documentary film on the (more...)

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Would appear to be the same thinking (by the aggre... by David Brooks on Friday, Mar 28, 2014 at 7:59:43 PM
To add insult to injury, the ceo was just given 5 ... by George Eliason on Saturday, Mar 29, 2014 at 12:35:24 AM
Thank you, this is important but I can find no inf... by Ralph Lopez on Saturday, Mar 29, 2014 at 3:15:24 PM