Both Kharkiv and Ukraine as a whole encounter new threats in connection with insufficient level of tolerance in society. And its further radicalization may cause the most dangerous consequences.
74 years ago, the humanity defeated Nazism. I have always perceived May 9 as not the day of victory over Germany or any other country, but as a triumph of human will in the struggle against a monstrous ideology of hate. Ideology, the keystone of which was the superiority of one race over the other. Ideology based on anti-Semitism, radicalism towards the history of other countries and striving for substitution of peace introduced by the Treaty of Versailles after the World War I for the chaos of war.
The ideas of discrimination on any grounds, the search of internal enemies – all these become apparent especially intensely during the times of economic crises. Perhaps, exactly that in why in modern Europe and America, the researchers observe the rise of radicalism as a whole and anti-Semitism in particular. Is Ukraine insured against this? I do not share the optimism demonstrated by Vice-Prime Minister Pavlo Rozenko, who declared that no incidents of anti-Semitism had been documented in our country during 2017-2018. I don’t think that Vice-Prime Minister should judge about this based on the formal statistics, in which the cases of anti-Semitism were renamed into ‘vandalism.’
The condition of tolerance in Ukrainian society is far from ideal – and I especially feel it when arrive from Kharkiv in Kyiv. In the capital, the influence of people, who monopolized the right to patriotism and who, in fact, blackmail the society provoking its radicalization, is sensed. We encounter it everywhere – in the streets and on social networks, where much more ‘jokes’ appeared about the ethnic origin of the newly-elected President.
Nevertheless, we should give our law-enforcement system its due: under the Minister Arsen Avakov, filter rotation in the new police happens all the time, but the position in respect of radicals remains invariable. And when I see another conflict of far rightists and law-enforcement officials, I always support those, who defends the law and the state.
It is the state policy that shall instill the values of mutual respect and tolerance in the society, it must united instead of splitting. Each decision, each law should be assessed from these view – whether it unites Ukraine or splits it. Why none of the MPs from Kharkiv elected by plurality voting supported the ‘language law’? Because its adoption now means the aggravation of the split, it again divides us into Ukrainian-speaking and Russian-speaking ones, it sets an absolutely inopportune agenda.
We need the laws, which extend the rights and freedoms of citizens now. We need co-operation of the authorities and philanthropists, who are ready to contribute funds into the construction of free and comfortable state. We need our Ukrainian Soros to promote the reforms for economy and values for the society’s tolerance. And the last thing that will concern me, as a citizen of Ukraine, as a patriot of my country and my native Kharkiv, is the language this person speaks, as good does not need translators.