Three anti-Roma pogroms within a month mark a worrying escalation of racist violence by neo-fascist militias in Ukraine, and evidence of official collusion is a deeply sinister added element. The European Roma Rights Centre (ERRC) has expressed its deep concern at the lax response from law enforcement agencies to racially motivated violence, which renders minorities even more vulnerable, and besmirches the image political leaders in Kyiv strive to cultivate of a tolerant, forward-looking nation.
The U.S. Embassy in Ukraine called on law enforcement officers to investigate the recent attacks on Roma and tweeted the following: “No one in Ukraine should live in fear because of who they are. We urge law enforcement to investigate recent attacks on Roma. Justice and Tolerance for minority communities are key in the new Ukraine.” https://bit.ly/2khEFm5.
In the most recent attack on May 22, ERRC News(https://bit.ly/2kY2OyM) reported that a group of masked men armed with guns and bats forced Roma families living near the village of Velyka Berezovytsia Ternopil to flee into the forest, and then set fire to their makeshift dwellings. Shots were fired and three people were injured in the attack. The terrified seven adults and 30 children lost all their property and documents in the arson attack. Doctors at the local hospital were forced to call the police when the injured Roma came under renewed attack as they were being brought in for treatment. (more...)