In what can only be described as an attack on Ukrainian nightlife and club culture, dozens of people associated with far-right groups gathered and marched on Kyiv’s clubbing district, Podil, at the weekend.
Organised via Telegram channel Catharsis, the ‘crusade’ saw over 100 people congregate outside the local police station at 6pm on Saturday 6th November. The group then commenced their dynamic demonstration whilst chanting nationalist slogans and throwing eggs, white powder and firecrackers.
The revolt comes off the back of allegations against three Podil club venues – HVLV, Closer & K41 – after claims they had been selling drugs (a claim that all three venues explicitly deny).
This demonstration is the most recent in a string of unsettling and, at times, violent encounters between the far-right, local police and the region’s nightlife industry.
Speaking to Resident Advisor, Andy Yankovskyi, co-owner of HVLV said: “Since we were expecting them to come and we made a lot of extra safety measurements, we knew that they wouldn’t be able to smash the gate and get inside,”
“But maybe the biggest disappointment of the evening was the incompetent work of the police. In this situation, we didn’t really know how long this blockade would last, maybe until the morning or whatever. We understood that we are alone in this fight and there’s no one we can call,” Yankovskyi added.
With tensions growing increasingly volatile in the region, Yankovskyi also added: “I assume that some actions like this may happen in the future. But I also understand that this isn’t an ideological fight like they want to portray in the media. This is a specific group of people who have their own materialistic goals that they try to follow, and there are other people who just want to have a normal stable community and support human rights, support human values, support the freedom of speech and the freedom of movement in the area. Some people don’t like it and they will use anything they can to stop this process. But you know, there’s a lot of us and we will probably fight back.”