May 6, 2017 – Fort Russ News –
– Publico.es, translated from Spanish by Tom Winter
Ukraine orders the arrest of 50 European antifascists as terrorists, including 7 Spaniards
Kiev has called on the European Union to arrest and extradite 50 anti-fascist militants – seven of them Spanish – for participating in an act of solidarity in the Donbass region “under Russian control” for “terrorism.”
Th Ukrainian government has called it a “terrorist act” – a visit by a group of about fifty European Communist militants, who participated in the “Antifascist Caravan to the Donbass” from April 29 to May 5.
Such an initiative has been described by the Ukrainian authorities as “a violation of its borders” and they therefore consider its participants as perpetrators of an illegal entry in their country for criminal purposes. At present the Donbass region is under control of the Russian [speaking] authorities, although the Ukrainian army maintains military tension on the main cities to try to recover this territory.
In this context of solidarity with the inhabitants of the region this caravan has been organized three years running, driven by the musical group “Banda Bassotti,”* a reference of the Italian and European left. These caravans have joined other organizations such as the Rubén Ruiz Ibárruri Brigade in Madrid and the Unión Sindical de Base in Italy, which bring new members.
A trip of risk
To access the conflict zone the participants in the caravan must travel to Moscow and from there go to Rostov by plane. Once in the destination, a convoy awaits them to start the last stretch to the cities they will visit, such as Lugansk, Donestk, Stajanov or Gorlovka. The convoy is loaded with medicines, toys, food, warm clothing, and footwear. During your stay we provide personal, medical and entertainment assistance to cope with the day-to-day life.
To arrest MEP Eleonora Forenza
In this regard, the Ukrainian authorities consider that any such solidarity initiative entails an illegal entry into their territory. For this reason, the European Union has been asked to arrest and extradite all participants in that visit “to the temporarily occupied region of Donbass” to “be prosecuted for violation of Ukrainian anti-terrorist legislation”.
On this occasion the Foreign Ministry of Ukraine on sent a very demanding letter to the Italian authorities and one very difficult to meet. The Ukrainian government knew that among the members of this multinational group formed by Italian, Spanish, British, Greek and German Communists there was also the Italian MEP Eleonora Forenza, spokeswoman for culture and communication of Refundazione Comunista and member of the Unitarian Left Group of the European Parliament, where the four MEPs from the United Left are integrated.
In the official letter – according to a statement made public by Kiev foreign ministry spokeswoman Maryana Betsa – “we asked the Italian authorities to arrest [the MEP] and the rest of the group before physically arriving at the Donbass.”
The 50 participants in this third edition of the Antifascist Caravan to the Donbass arrived this morning in Moscow, after finishing their nine days stay in the zone of conflict. Throughout the day the group will divide to travel each one to their respective destinations. Coinciding with this, the Ukrainian government has called on European governments to arrest all participants “as soon as they reach their respective destinations,” which are scheduled for today, the paper has learned.
*Readers of Italian Walt Disney comic books will know that “Banda Bassotti” is how the villain gang “The Beagle Boys” comes through in Italian