Russian President Vladimir Putin warned on Wednesday of the rise of Neo-nazi parties and movements across Eastern Europe and the Baltic States.
“Regrettably, the vaccine against the virus of Nazism produced at the Nuremberg tribunal is losing its original strength in some European countries,” Putin told the Serbian daily Politika in an interview.
Putin also pinpointed Ukraine as an example of the dangers of these Neo-nazi organizations.
“What went on in Ukraine in February is particularly troubling in this respect, as an unconstitutional government coup occurred, driven by nationalist and other radical groups,” Putin said.
On Wednesday, thousands of far-right Svoboda party members marched across Ukraine to commemorate the anniversary of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UIA), a paramilitary force which collaborated with the Nazis during the Second World War.
Several members of Petro Poroshenko's government come from Svoboda.
On Tuesday, a large group of Ukraine’s Right Sector activists and militants from the Azov battalion marched through the center of Kiev chanting quotes from Adolf Hitler and other Nazi criminals. They demanded an official declaration of freedom fighters for the UIA veterans.
Other mass gatherings of Neo-nazi groups have taken place on different Eastern European countries, such as the annual marches by members of SS veterans in Letonia or gatherings of the 20th division of Waffen-SS in Estonia.
Recently, controversy sparked in Latvia over a controversial musical show glorifying Nazi war criminal Herberts Cukurs. During the Second World War he was a member of the Araijs Koomando, a death squad notorious for massacres of Jews.
A special law establishing criminal punishment for the exoneration of Nazism has been effective in Russia since May 2014.
Ukrainian Government's Neo-Nazi Links