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Ukrainian nationalists march on Holy Virgin holiday

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Ukrainian nationalists march on Holy Virgin holiday


Monday was important in Ukraine as October 14 is when the eastern rite churches of Orthodox and Greek Catholic Christians celebrate the Holy Virgin holiday.

But since 2005 Ukrainian nationalists and the Svoboda party have tried to make the day their own with parades and rallies honouring the Ukrainian Insurgent Army, which fought both the Nazi and Soviet regimes in the 20th century.

This prevents Svoboda getting any electoral traction in eastern Ukraine, where the Russian-speaking majority is angry at being painted as collaborators, and ensures that when the nationalists march they are met with Communist-organised counter-demonstrations.

However thousands turned out in Kiev, with some of the nationalists not daring to show their faces as they claim they suffer from persecution for their views.

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