Right-wing radical organization С14 has filed a lawsuit against independent new media outlet Hromadske TV for a social media post that describes the group as ‘neo-Nazis’.
The group filed the lawsuit "in defense of their honor, dignity and business reputation" in the Pechersk District Court of Kyiv on July 2.
"We have not yet seen the statement of claim, but we received documents from the plaintiff that show their position in court,” Hromadske lawyers said.
One of the documents in the statement of claim features a copy of a tweet posted to the Twitter of the media organization’s English-language service Hromadske International, which describes C14 as a "neo-Nazi group". The tweet was posted on May 4, when representatives of C14 captured and forcefully took Brazilian militant Rafael Lusvarghi to Ukraine’s Security Service.
C14 also provided a statement of expertise from I.F. Kuras Institute of Political and Ethnic Studies of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine on the interpretation of terms such as "nationalism", "nazism" and "neo-Nazism".
The expert opinion stated that "the concept of nationalism in its generalized form does not have positive or negative connotations; it is a statement, not a category of appraisal."
It also stated that "Nazism is the ideology and practice of German national socialism," and neo-Nazism is the "general name of political or social movements that arose after the Second World War ...Neo-Nazism continues to defend Nazi ideology, which includes biological racism, anti-Semitism, homophobia and radical nationalism.”
"We will win this case,” Hromadske’s executive director Katya Gorchinskaya said.
A number of experts who study the far right movements note that today in Ukraine neo-Nazism appears in small organizations, such as С14.
Earlier, Anton Shekhovtsov, an expert on ultra-right movements and academic in political science, told Hromadske that neo-Nazism appears on a systemic level in C14.
Andreas Umland, an expert from the Institute of Euro-Atlantic Cooperation in Kyiv, also said that C14, which was previously the youth organization of the Svoboda party, could qualify as neo-Nazi.